NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Perspective

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Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have made clear that only in the case of murder can a juvenile be given a life sentence "without possibility of parole" (and never a death sentence). Under-18s, the court said, must get a "meaningful opportunity" to mature and redeem themselves behind bars. The U.S. Constitution aside, apparently some Florida judges disagree and have subsequently sentenced juveniles to 50 years or longer for non-murders, in some cases assuring that the release date will be beyond the inmate's natural life expectancy. In one case found by a Barry University law school program, a juvenile convicted of gun robbery and rape had his earlier life-without-parole sentence "reduced" to consecutive sentences totaling 170 years. Critics said the Supreme Court should recognize that some juveniles are already "thoroughly incorrigible."

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