When it comes to the death penalty, a majority of Americans prefer life without parole sentences for people who commit crimes. But for some offenders, a sentence to die behind bars is a disproportionate punishment. Life without parole for juveniles has already been ruled unconstitutional. A case pending before the Supreme Court will decide whether life without parole for non-violent offenders is also unconstitutional. The broader issue is that sentences should be proportionate to the crime and should account for any diminished culpability of the person who committed the crime.

FPP Files Amicus Briefs on Behalf of Four Juvenile Defendants (Updated 8/15/17)

The Fair Punishment Project has filed an Amicus Brief in People of the State of Michigan v. Skinner on behalf of Tia Marie-Mitchell Skinner, who is challenging the life without parole sentence she received for an offense committed when she was a juvenile. The U.S....
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Five Criminal Justice Reforms the Louisiana Legislature Should Pass Immediately

  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Louisiana locks up more people per capita than anywhere else in the country — nearly double the national average. It sends people to prison for drug, property, and other low-level offenses at an alarming clip. This desire to lock people...
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Do the protections of Graham v. Florida and Miller v. Alabama extend to Juveniles Who Have Committed Multiple Offenses?

In Graham and Miller, the U.S. Supreme Court severely limited the imposition of life-without-parole sentences on juveniles. No matter the severity of the crime (or crimes) a juvenile has committed, he cannot be denied any possibility of future release unless he is the...
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New Report Calls Wayne County an ‘Extreme Outlier’ on Juvenile Life Without Parole, Criticizes D.A. Kym Worthy’s Decision to Seek Life Without Parole Sentences in 1 out of 3 Cases

A new report released today highlights Wayne County’s frequent use of juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentences, calling the county an “extreme outlier” in its use of the punishment. The report also criticizes D.A. Worthy’s decision, which was announced Friday,...
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FPP Files Amicus on Behalf of Juvenile Defendant James Comer

The Fair Punishment Project has filed an Amicus brief on behalf of James Comer, who is challenging the constitutionality of the lengthy term-of-years prison sentence imposed upon him for offenses committed as a seventeen-year-old. Mr. Comer was sentenced to...
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Iowa Supreme Court Joins Growing Consensus Against JLWOP

The Iowa Supreme Court decided last week that life without parole for juveniles (JLWOP) is unconstitutional, thereby extending the holdings from Miller and Montgomery a step further. In Miller, the U.S. Supreme Court held that juveniles could not be sentenced to life...
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Sadly, Gov. Malloy’s Effort to Raise Juvenile Age Limit Falters

In an attempt to get Connecticut lawmakers to agree on a criminal justice bill that would eliminate bail for minor crimes, Governor Daniel Malloy unfortunately agreed to drop a proposal to raise the juvenile age in the state to 21 years old. Despite his compromise,...
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From No Hope to Light at the End of the Tunnel: The Accelerating National Consensus Against JLWOP

The United States is the only Western country that still sentences juveniles to life without the possibility of parole (JLWOP) — a sentence which guarantees that an individual will die in prison. The country is now moving at a fast and furious pace to abandon...
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We Applaud D.A. Seth Williams’ Announcement on Juvenile Life Without Parole

Over the weekend, Philadelphia County District Attorney Seth Williams announced a new policy on juvenile life without parole stating: “It’s my goal to give all of these individuals some light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “As long as...
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New York Court Says Youth Must Be A Factor in Parole Determinations

What if your adult life was determined entirely by a terrible thing you did when you were a teenager? Last week, a New York appellate court held that in the context of criminal law, such finality based on teenage conduct is unconstitutional. In 1976, 16-year-old...
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