Miller v. Alabama
Five years ago this week, as another term of the United States Supreme Court was coming to an end, I can still recall the
In a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision is a deceptively simple line that should affect, and in many cases, transform the way Americans think about juveniles who kill. At the heart of the 2012 groundbreaking case, Miller v. Alabama, said the Court, is the idea, proven by neuroscience and behavioral research, that "children who commit even heinous crimes are capable of change."
Bryan Stevenson is unwavering in that vision and in lifting his voice of great moral clarity at the forefront of the struggle. Every new hard-earned and overdue victory should remind us all that we must keep moving towards greater justice for all.
Twenty years ago, however, there was a different "truth" about youthful offenders. That "truth" was that the United States was on the brink of a crime wave committed by juvenile "superpredators."
Ending up here, with thousands of kids imprisoned for life, was by no means inevitable, or even predictable, when we look back in our nation's history. For much of the last two centuries, very few would have accepted the idea that the legal system should treat children exactly like adults, or that a child who breaks the law, even egregiously so, is unredeemable.
“Mandatory life without parole for a juvenile precludes consideration of his chronological age and its hallmark features
The Illinois Supreme Court got it right today when it ruled that juveniles are eligible for new sentences.
My life course is a testament of the human potential for positive change, and I am in no way an exception. I personally know many individuals who have gone through similar experiences and are now living positive and productive lives.
"The amount of violence — the pathology in that — is remarkable at any age, but especially for a teen," retired FBI profiler
The idea that we can look at a 14-year-old and know that he will be evil his entire life reflects a dangerous certainty -- that we somehow know which children will be a danger in 30, 40 or 50 years. Perhaps most importantly, it runs against the beliefs of a faithful nation.