Life Incarceration for Juveniles?
How would you feel if you were fifteen years old and had no hope of living your life outside of prison bars?
In 2010, Terrance Graham, a juvenile, was sentenced to life in prison without any chance of release or parole after violating his probation. In this case, Graham challenged his sentence under the 8th amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment clause, which says that the federal government cannot set excessive bail, excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishments, including sentencing or torture.
Graham won this case because the U.S Supreme Court decided that a state must give juvenile defendants like Graham a meaningful chance to gain release based on maturity and overall improvement. This decision is very important because it makes certain that juveniles cannot be sentenced to life without parole in any case.