Miller v Alabama was the third case in a line of juvenile sentencing precedents which have greatly influenced the position of youths in our justice system.1 As of 2012, when Miller was decided, over 2,500 people were serving sentences of life without parole for crimes that they committed before they turned 18.2 This injustice is what the court sought to curb in the Miller decision. The precedents of Roper and Graham demonstrated through social science that juveniles are inherently less culpable for their crimes than adults. This diminished culpability, combined with the severity of a life without parole sentence given to a juvenile, demonstrates the need for individualized sentencing in juvenile homicide cases. Furthermore, the widespread positive reaction to the ruling and cooperation by most states has been outstanding. For these reasons, I believe the court was correct in Miller v Alabama when it decided that mandatory sentencing schemes which provide juvenile homicide offenders with life without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional under the 8th Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
Miller v Alabama concerned two 14 year old boys, Kuntrell Jackson and Evan Miller, who were involved in separate homicides and convicted of life without the possibility of parole under mandatory sentencing schemes in Arkansas and Alabama respectively; their cases were joined for the purpose of oral argument and this decision. In 1999, Kuntrell Jackson and two other boys were on their way to rob a video store when Jackson learned that one of the other boys was carrying a shotgun. Initially, Jackson stayed in the vehicle, but eventually entered the store. Following Jackson’s entry, the clerk threatened to call the police, and the boy with the shotgun subsequently shot and killed her. Evan Miller was directly involved in the murder of his victim. With an alcoholic mom and an abusive step-dad, Miller had been in and out of foster care throughout his childhood. While home with a friend one night, Miller’s neighbor came in to make a drug deal with his mother. The boys followed the neighbor to his trailer, where the three drank alcohol and smoked marijuana. After the neighbor passed out, the young boys tried to steal his wallet, but the neighbor awoke and tried to strangle Miller. Miller subsequently beat the neighbor repeatedly with a baseball bat. After fleeing the scene, the boys returned to light the trailer on fire to cover up the evidence; the neighbor died soon after. In both of these cases, the young boys were sentenced under mandatory schemes which made it impossible for a judge to sentence them to anything less than life without parole. Thus, they would die in prison without consideration to factors such as their susceptibility to negative influence or traumatic childhood experiences, for crimes they committed at the young age of 14.3
The court took on this case to decide the question: do mandatory sentencing schemes that sentence juvenile homicide offenders to life without the possibility of parole violate the 8th Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment? Relying on two lines of precedent, the majority of the court in this case decided that such sentencing schemes are unconstitutional in the juvenile context under the 8th amendment.4 It is essential to clarify the standard used to evaluate 8th Amendment claims such as the one brought here. Historically, there are two standards which are intertwined: proportionality review and evolving standards of decency. Put simply, a punishment is disproportionate and therefore unconstitutional if it fails to balance the culpability of the offender with the severity of the offense.5 This proportionality and sense of balance is often determined according to evolving standards of decency.6 To determine what society deems to be “decent,” the court may look to legislative enactments, public opinion, and international views to determine what society thinks is a reasonable punishment.7
Through this lense, we can begin to analyze the majority opinion authored by Justice Kagan in the Miller case. The first strand of precedent used in the opinion, including Roper v Simmons and Graham v Florida, shows that for the purpose of sentencing, children are constitutionally different from adults. These two cases banned sentencing practices for juveniles which failed to balance culpability of the defendant with the penalty.8 In eliminating the death penalty and life without parole for non homicide crimes respectively, these cases considered three main factors which diminish a juvenile’s culpability.9 The first is a juvenile’s relative immaturity, which can cause impulsive and reckless behavior. Second, juveniles are more vulnerable to negative influence and are unable to control their environment. Finally, a child’s personality and traits are not fixed, but rather still forming and bound to change over time.10 Indeed, risky behavior as a child has no bearing on adult criminality.11 Due to the fact that none of these factors are crime specific, they apply with equal force to the children in the Miller case.12 All of these considerations of youth, put into law in Roper and Graham, serve to demonstrate that children are fundamentally less culpable than adults; it would violate the 8th amendment proportionality demand to treat them as though they were merely mini adults. Thus, due to this diminished culpability, I would agree with the court that juveniles should not be given the harshest possible sentence of life without parole without consideration to these factors of youth.
For a second strand of precedent, Kagan in her majority opinion turned to Woodson v North Carolina. In this case, the court determined that defendants being sentenced to death must be given individualized consideration to the facts of their crime and their personal characteristics for the purpose of sentencing.13 Kagan claims that this precedent is relevant here, because in Graham, the court equated juvenile life without parole to the death penalty. This is because a juvenile given this sentence will not only spend significantly more time in prison than an adult offender given the same sentence, but they will also have no meaningful opportunity to contribute to society or demonstrate reform, and they will inevitably die in jail.14 It follows, then, that juveniles should be given the same sort of individualized consideration in sentencing. Indeed, there are many mitigating factors which can contribute, if not explain, adverse juvenile behavior; 79% of juveniles sentenced to life witnessed violence at home, 47% were abused, and less than half were attending school at the time of their offense.15 Furthermore, under these mandatory sentencing schemes, a 14 year old and an individual who is one day shy of their 18th birthday are treated identically. All of these factors need to be considered before a juvenile can be sentenced to the harshest available penalty, which is why I once again affirm the court’s position that mandatory sentencing schemes of the nature in Miller violate the 8th Amendment.
It is critical to assess the assumptions made by Justice Kagan in this opinion. Primarily, it is apparent that Justice Kagan endorses the living interpretation of the constitution. In contrast, while there is value in following the intent of the framers or the status quo at the time of the founding, it is dangerous to take this view in regards to the 8th Amendment. Afterall, if we look to the intention of the framers in regards to this amendment, we would have to allow branding, flogging, and mutilation.16 Furthermore, looking to the framers would mean abandoning proportionality; thus, one could be sentenced to death for a parking violation. I think what Justice Kagan is assuming here is that, although the framers may baulk at this ruling today, our society and the global understanding of what is humane has evolved and changed since the founding. Furthermore, Justice Kagan, in contrast to some of her colleagues, has embraced social science in her opinion to justify her claims about juveniles.17 Finally, Justice Kagan worked as a professor and as the dean at Harvard before she joined the bench, and both her brothers are teachers. Thus, it is possible that she harbors an unconscious bias towards, or perhaps just a greater understanding of, adolescence, which could have influenced her opinion here.18
Justice Breyer, joined by Justice Sotomayor, filed a concurrence in this case. They asserted that all juveniles have diminished culpability, but where there is no intent to kill, the defendant has twice diminished culpability. Thus, those juveniles who have no intent, such as Kuntrell Jackson, should be categorically ineligible for life without parole.19 While the dissents argue that the transferred intent of felony murder is enough, Breyer contends that this principle is invalid for juveniles, given that it rests on the premise that any person engaging in a felony should understand the risks involved in their behavior; juveniles, however, have inherently limited ability to weigh such risks.20 Indeed, the part of the brain that controls impulsivity and consequential reasoning- the prefrontal cortex- isn’t developed until a person reaches his 20s.21 Breyer has previously written on his belief that judges should consider the consequences of their rulings in their decision making.22 Thus, he likely sympathized for the fate of the two young boys who would be subject to die behind bars without the court’s aid.
The first of three dissents in this case was written by Chief Justice Roberts. Roberts starts by questioning the use of modern standards of decency in Eighth Amendment review, asking why a maturing society would want to release harmful criminals from prison.23 To this, I would point Justice Roberts to the fact that juveniles’ personalities and characteristics are in transition, not set in stone, and that they have an enhanced capability for reform.24 Assuming that societal standards are valid, Roberts sets out to prove that the majority of states support the use of mandatory life without parole for juveniles. He points to the statistics that life without parole is given out to juvenile homicide offenders 5000% more frequently than to the non homicide offenders in Graham.25 However, what the chief justice fails to address is that life without parole was still only given to juvenile homicide offenders in 4.5% of cases.26 Roberts further suggests that the precedents relied on in Miller should not be expanded upon. He claims that Roper left life without parole as an option explicitly to maintain deterrence; however, there is no valid penological purpose for this, since we have already determined that juveniles are incapable of the kind of critical thinking necessary for the effect of deterrence. Likewise, in Graham, the Chief Justice argues that juvenile homicide offenders were left out of the decision intentionally.27 However, everything the court said about the diminished culpability of juveniles in Graham was not crime specific, thus likewise applicable to the decision in Miller. Ultimately, the chief justice’s arguments are not persuasive in light of other facts.
The second dissent, authored by Justice Thomas, takes on an extremely originalist view of the Constitution. Justice Thomas not only contends that Miller was decided wrong, but that all the precedents relied on were also incorrect. He advocates for the view that the 8th Amendment should be interpreted based off of what was valid at its ratification in 1791.28 He rejects proportionality as well as evolving standards, and believes that the punishment of criminals should be left to the states to decide.29 However, this case does not suggest that life without parole is unconstitutional for juveniles and therefore no longer an option at all for the states, it only holds that mitigating factors must be considered before that punishment be given. Furthermore, Thomas argues for adherence to Harmelin, which decided that a punishment that is otherwise constitutional doesn’t become unconstitutional simply because it is mandatory.30 However, following this reasoning, making the death penalty a mandatory sentence for all petty theft would be constitutionally permissible. Ultimately, Thomas takes a strict textual approach to the 8th Amendment in Miller, advocating that such decision be left up to the states, as is his standard view.31 However, as discussed before, there is danger in adhering to such principles when it comes to cruel and unusual punishment.
Finally, we turn to the third dissent by Justice Alito. Alito begins his opinion with a hypothetical of a dangerous seventeen-and-a-half year old who set off a bomb in a mall, or perhaps gunned down dozens of students and teachers, yet would still be given the opportunity to try to persuade a judge to release him.32 In response to this, it is once again important to point out that this hypothetical juvenile could still receive life without parole. Alito attempts here to make it sound as though arguing for one’s own defense is despicable. However, it is in accordance with the constitution that even this hypothetical monster deserves the right to argue on his own behalf; if Justice Alito contends that we should adhere to the framers intent for the 8th amendment, than he should also support this basic and fundamental notion of our legal system. This argument by Alito is one of the few that is unique to his dissent alone; he goes on to discuss many of the same points made previously by Roberts and Thomas. The general theme throughout this dissent is fear of the potentially dangerous criminals who could be released following the majority’s ruling. I am unpersuaded by this fear; we have now addressed many times the capacity of juvenile offenders to reform, but more importantly we have addressed the fact that this case will not automatically release all juveniles serving sentences of life without parole. Miller merely places a safeguard to protect the interest of the offenders who have the genuine capacity for reform.
All of the dissents were premised on an originalist view of the constitution, as well as a belief that the constitution should be applied evenly to everyone regardless of age.33 It is already recognized in various areas of society that juveniles are different; they can’t vote, marry, drink alcohol, etc.34 Just as those who are mentally disabled are treated as their own, less culpable, class, so too should juveniles be treated differently, with greater understanding and consideration to the factors that make them unique. Conclusively, these differences between juveniles and adults show that they are not all automatically deserving of such harsh punishments as life without parole, even if their crimes were heinous.
While I have determined that the case at hand was decided correctly on the merits, it is important to look at its impact as well. In response to the ruling in Miller, most states have taken steps to implement the holding, and many have gone as far as to eliminate life without parole all together for juveniles. Furthermore, the decision has been applied by the court retroactively. These responses to the case, combined with widespread public support for the decision, further demonstrate that Miller was decided correctly. However, no decision is without flaw, and minor enforcement issues, potential for bias in judicial discretion, and lack of empirical data show the difficulty in bringing everyone to a consensus.
The state’s’ reaction to the decision in Miller demonstrates the fact that it was decided correctly. Since the decision in 2012, 28 states have changed their laws to comply with the holding, even though 24 of these 28 states had previously mandated life without parole for juvenile homicide offenders.35 This massive state compliance demonstrates their agreement with, and willingness to implement, the court’s decision. Historically, after a controversial decision has been handed down, many states simply refused to follow it, such as in Brown v Board of Education. However, the states affected by Miller not only adopted its holding, but many took it even further; while 30 states still allow life without parole as a valid sentence when given in consideration of mitigating factors, 20 states and the District of Columbia have eliminated juvenile life without parole altogether.36 The dissenters in Miller were greatly concerned with the court’s disregard for legislative intent and public wishes, but the reaction by the states affected by the ruling clearly shows that this concern was arbitrary.
As we know from our discussion of Miller, the court determined that mandatory sentencing of life without parole for juveniles was unconstitutional. However, what we haven’t discussed, is that the court deemed it so important of a right that they applied it retroactively in Montgomery v Louisiana (2016).37 While the dissents in Miller were critical of the decision due to concerns about the safety risks associated with releasing juvenile homicide offenders from jail, that is not what Miller or Montgomery entail. This retroactive application only ensures that those juveniles whose crimes were merely lapses of judgment or products of negative influence- who have since reformed, matured, and learned from their mistakes- will not be stuck serving a disproportionate sentence, but rather be given the opportunity to meaningfully participate in society again.38 In Montgomery, the court further explained that life without parole should be reserved only for the select few who are truly incapable of reform.39 (citation). In fact, following the decisions in Miller and Montgomery, hundreds of individuals have already been released, and thousands more are now having their sentences reconsidered.40 Due to the fact that this decision was so recent, it is hard to determine whether or not there has been recidivism among those who have been released. What is certain, however, is that Montgomery fully supported and reaffirmed the court’s decision in Miller, and reiterated that juvenile offenders don’t all deserve to die in jail for their mistakes.
Finally, when we turn to the public reaction to the decision in Miller, we find that it was largely seen as a great success. Many lawyers and judges were ecstatic to see the mandatory sentencing go; no one wanted to see a child go to prison for life for a mistake that was caused by the uncontrollable circumstances of their youth.41 Many social scientists, too, were thrilled at the acceptance of science by the court whose conservative members have shied away from the use of science in decisionmaking.42 Still others called this decision an, “important victory,” especially for the children who would otherwise be subject to die in prison.43 Perhaps most powerful is the reaction from the family members of victims of juvenile homicide offenders. One woman, the founder of the National Organization of Victims of Juvenile Murderers, had her sister, brother-in-law, and soon to be born niece viciously killed by a young man, just weeks before his 18th birthday.44 However, despite this traumatic experience, she, and other similarly situated members of her organization, fully support the decision in Miller. She believes that the characteristics of juveniles should be taken into account, especially the circumstances of individual offender’s childhood that could explain their behavior, such as abuse and neglect. These reactions demonstrate widespread support for the decision in Miller, further supporting the notion that it was decided correctly.
When we take into account that an important aspect of 8th Amendment jurisprudence is the evolving standards of decency within a society, these reactions by the state, the court, and the public demonstrate that Miller was decided correctly. The widespread support for the elimination of mandatory sentencing of life without parole for juvenile homicide offenders clearly shows that society was ready to accept its unconstitutionality. However, that is not to say that the decision in Miller went uncontested.
Some states have struggled with implementation of the Miller decision. Minnesota, for example, hasn’t officially changed the law on the books, but a state Supreme Court ruling which determined that those previously sentenced to life without parole would be eligible for parole after 30 years has essentially eradicated mandatory juvenile life without parole in the state. However, they have run into problems when dealing with juveniles who killed multiple victims and are subsequently serving multiple 30 year sentences. For example, a 17 year old was sentenced to a mandatory 90 years in prison before the possibility of parole for killing 3 victims.45 Some would argue that this sentence defies Miller in practice, since the offender will surely die before he is eligible for release. Fortunately, this type of conflict with the ruling in Miller is infrequent. A few states out of the 28 affected by the Miller ruling do not invalidate the many that have changed their statutes as a result of the decision. Furthermore, the case from Minnesota is on appeal to the Supreme Court, and judging by precedent, it is likely that they will follow the line of juvenile sentencing cases and strike down this sentence as well.
Another concern raised from the Miller decision is the potential for racial bias in future sentencing. Following Miller, there will be vast judicial discretion in determining who gets life without parole in spite of mitigating circumstances and who does not. Because of this discretion, there is the potential for unconscious racial prejudice to influence judges decisions.46 Preliminary data shows that while 23.2% of juvenile homicide arrests involve a black person killing a white victim, 42.2% of juvenile life without parole sentences are for this same crime.47 Unfortunately, because this case was so recent, there are very few studies that have been done on the racial disparities in juvenile life without parole cases. To go about studying this in the future, one would need to compile data about juvenile homicide offenders and their crimes in states that have reformed their sentencing structures to comply with Miller, then analyze this data in terms of race of the offender and race of the victim. If studies in the future reveal the same pattern as the preliminary research, there could be grounds for an equal protection claim that could find its way in front of the Supreme Court. While the prospect of racial bias in sentencing is horrendous, it should not diminish the step the court took in Miller toward fair treatment of children; rather, it serves as the next obstacle of injustice that will need to be addressed by society and the court.
Conclusively, the court was correct in Miller v Alabama when it decided that mandatory sentencing schemes that provide life without the possibility of parole for juvenile homicide offenders are unconstitutional under the 8th amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. The inherently diminished culpability of children makes them undeserving of society’s worst punishments unless they are deemed to be so corrupt that they are beyond reform. The overwhelming acceptance of this case by the states and the public further demonstrates that it was decided correctly; society’s view is a key factor of 8th amendment review, which is clearly satisfied in this case. Furthermore, 25 states and the district of columbia have either completely eliminated juvenile life without parole, or are not using the sentence. In the future, it will be interesting to observe how the trend in public opinion of this issue changes. Regardless, it is certain that Miller v Alabama will have significant precedential value in future juvenile justice litigation.
- Matthew Ross Lippman, Striking the Balance : Debating Criminal Justice and Law, (2017), 170.
- Joshua Rovner, “Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview,” The Sentencing Project, 13 Oct. 2017, 2.
- Miller v Alabama, 4-5.
- Miller v Alabama, 1-2.
- Beth A. Colgan, “Constitutional Line Drawing at the Intersection of Childhood and Crime,” Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, (vol. 9, no. 1, 2013, pp. 79-106) 5.
- Miller v Alabama, 5.
- David L. Corrington, Life without Parole for Juvenile Offenders: Questions of Legality and Adolescent Culpability, (University of North Texas, Ann Arbor, 2010), 40.
- Anna K. Christensen, “Rehabilitating Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Analysis of Miller v. Alabama,” The Circuit, (2013), 136.
- Devina Douglas, “A Suggested Minor Refinement of Miller v Alabama,” McGeorge Law Review, (vol. 46, 2014, pp. 907-938), 912.
- Miller v Alabama, 5.
- David L. Corrington, 44.
- Beth A. Colgan, 10.
- Miller v Alabama, 2.
- Miller v Alabama, 7.
- Joshua Rovner, 4.
- John F. Stinneford, “Against Cruel Innovation: The Original Meaning of the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause, And Why it Matters Today,” Amendment VIII: Excessive Fines, Cruel and Unusual Punishment.
- Beth A. Colgan, 3.
- Clare Cushman, The Supreme Court Justices : Illustrated Biographies, 1789-2012, (2013), 507-508.
- Miller v Alabama, 11.
- Miller v Alabama, 12.
- Anna K. Christensen, 138.
- Clare Cushman, 493.
- Miller v Alabama, 13.
- David L. Corrington, 44.
- Miller v Alabama, 14.
- Beth A. Colgan, 9.
- Miller v Alabama, 15.
- Miller v Alabama, 16.
- Miller v Alabama, 17.
- Miller v Alabama, 17.
- Clare, Cushman, 484.
- Miller v Alabama, 19.
- Beth A. Colgan, 3.
- David L. Corrington, 22.
- Joshua Rovner, 3.
- Joshua Rovner, 2.
- Matthew Ross Lippman, 170.
- Joshua Rovner, 4.
- Rebecca Turner, Personal Interview, 16 November, 2017.
- Ethan Bronner, “Sentencing Ruling Reflects Rethinking on Juvenile Justice,” The New York Times, 26 June, 2012.
- Ethan Bronner.
- David G. Savage, “Supreme Court Rules Mandatory Juvenile Life Without Parole Cruel and Unusual,” Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2012.
- Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, Personal Interview, 24 October, 2017.
- “A State-by-State Look at Juvenile Life without Parole,” AP English Language News, July 31, 2017, 9.
- Devina Douglas, 918.
- Joshua Rovner, 4.
“A State-by-State Look at Juvenile Life without Parole.” AP English Language News (includes AP 50 State Report), July 31, 2017, Global Breaking Newswires; Global News Stream; ProQuest Central, http://libproxy.usc.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy1.usc.edu/docview/1924740932?accountid=14749.
Bishop-Jenkins, Jennifer. Interview. 24 Oct. 2017.
Bronner, Ethan. “Sentencing Ruling Reflects Rethinking on Juvenile Justice.” The New York Times, 26 June 2012, www.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/us/news-analysis-ruling-reflects-rethinking-on-juvenile-justice.html?pagewanted=all.
Colgan, Beth A. “Constitutional Line Drawing at the Intersection of Childhood and Crime.” Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, vol. 9, no. 1, 2013, pp. 79-106, Criminal Justice Database; Political Science Database; ProQuest Central; Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, http://libproxy.usc.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy2.usc.edu/docview/1511104991?accountid=14749.
Corrington, David L. Life without Parole for Juvenile Offenders: Questions of Legality and Adolescent Culpability, University of North Texas, Ann Arbor, 2010, Criminal Justice Database; ProQuest Central; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, http://libproxy.usc.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy2.usc.edu/docview/861913900?accountid=14749.
Christensen, Anna K., “Rehabilitating Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Analysis of Miller v. Alabama” (2013). The Circuit. 21. http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/clrcircuit/21
Cushman, Clare, and Supreme Court Historical Society Content Provider. The Supreme Court Justices : Illustrated Biographies, 1789-2012. 2013.
Douglas, Devina. “A Suggested Minor Refinement of Miller v Alabama.” McGeorge Law Review, vol. 46, 2014, pp. 907-938, mcgeorge.edu/Documents/Publications/8Vol464Douglas.pdf.
Gorr, Michael J., and Sterling Harwood. Crime and Punishment : Philosophic Explorations. Boston, Jones and Bartlett, 1995.
Khachatryan, Norair. Thirty Year Follow-Up of Juvenile Homicide Offenders, University of South Florida, Ann Arbor, 2015, Criminal Justice Database; ProQuest Central; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, http://libproxy.usc.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy2.usc.edu/docview/1679469323?accountid=14749.
Kim, Victoria. “Juvenile’s Sentence is Struck Down; Court Rules that Life Term without Parole for Attempted Murder is Unconstitutional.” Los Angeles Times, Aug 17, 2012, Los Angeles Times, http://libproxy.usc.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy1.usc.edu/docview/1033768650?accountid=14749.
Levy, Jonathan. “The Case of the Missing Argument: The Mysterious Disappearance of International Law From Juvenile Sentencing in Miller v Alabama, 132 S. CT. 2455 (2012).” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, vol. 36, no. 1, 2013, pp. 355-374, ABI/INFORM Collection; Business Premium Collection; Criminal Justice Database; PAIS Index; Political Science Database; ProQuest Central, http://libproxy.usc.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy2.usc.edu/docview/1470797995?accountid=14749.
Lippman, Matthew Ross. Striking the Balance : Debating Criminal Justice and Law. 2017.
Rovner, Joshua. “Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview.” The Sentencing Project, The Sentencing Project, 13 Oct. 2017, www.sentencingproject.org/publications/juvenile-life-without-parole/.
Rovner, Joshua. “Slow to Act: State Responses to 2012 Supreme Court Mandate on Life Without Parole.” The Sentencing Project, The Sentencing Project, 2014, sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Slow-to-Act-State-Responses-to-Miller.pdf.
Savage, David G. “Supreme Court Rules Mandatory Juvenile Life Without Parole Cruel and Unusual.” Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2012, articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/25/news/la-pn-supreme-court-rules-juvenile-life-without-parole-cruel-and-unusual-20120625.
Stinneford, John F. “Against Cruel Innovation: The Original Meaning of the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause, And Why it Matters Today.” Amendment VIII: Excessive Fines, Cruel and Unusual Punishment, constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-viii/against-cruel-innovation-the-original-meaning-of-the-cruel-and-unusual-puni/clause/10.
Trulson, Chad, and Jon Caudill. “Juvenile Homicide Offender Recidivism.” Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 7, no. 2, 2017, pp. 93-104, Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts (ASSIA); Criminal Justice Database; ProQuest Central; Social Science Database; Sociology Database, http://libproxy.usc.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy2.usc.edu/docview/1886941508?accountid=14749.
Turner, Rebecca. Interview. 16 Nov. 2017.
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