High court looks at life in prison for juveniles - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

High court looks at life in prison for juveniles

WASHINGTON. - A cruel and unusual punishment question is before the Supreme Court, which has never before overruled a sentence on that basis, except when it involved the death penalty.

The court heard arguments Monday about life without parole sentences for juveniles tried as adults for crimes less than killings.

More than 100 prison inmates in the United States are serving those terms, most in Florida.
     
Opponents want the court to rule that locking up juveniles and throwing away the key is cruel and unusual which is unconstitutional.
     
The state of Florida, backed by 19 other states, argues it should retain flexibility for punishing "particularly heinous acts."
     
Opponents say most states have, in practice, rejected life terms for juveniles when no one was killed. They also say no other country allows life sentences for young offenders.

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