Posted on May 17th, 2010 No comments
In Graham v. Florida, an opinion by Justice Kennedy, the U.S. Supreme Court held it is unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile offender to life in prison without parole when the crime does not involve murder. The vote is 6-3, with Justice Thomas dissenting, joined by Justice Scalia and in part by Justice Alito. Justice Alito files a separate dissenting opinion for himself. Justice Stevens, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor, concurs, even though all three join the majority opinion, and the Chief Justice concurs in the result alone.
The Court dismissed Sullivan v. Florida as improvidently granted, in this per curiam opinion.
Under Michigan Law, a juvenile may be sentenced to life in prison without parole, so this case will have a significant impact on juvenile delinquency cases in Michigan, specifically designated and waiver cases.
You can download the opinion here: Graham v. Florida
For more information regarding these cases, check out my previous blog post here.