Miller vs Alabama

1270 Words6 Pages
Miller v. Alabama (2012) Supreme Court Case Introduction The Supreme Court reviewed the constitutionality of mandatory life sentences without parole enforced upon persons aged fourteen and younger found guilty of homicide. The court declared unconstitutional a compulsory sentence of life without parole for children. The states have been barred from routinely imposing sentences based on the crime committed. There is a requirement for individual consideration of the child life circumstance or the defendant status as a child. The court rejected the definite ban on life sentences without parole. This is because in some cases the instances may be uncommon, but jurors…show more content…
That is why in Roper v. Simons, capital punishment for children was prohibited by the eighth amendment. In Graham v. Florida the eighth amendment also prohibited life sentence without parole for juvenile found guilty of non-homicide cases. This case further associated life sentence without parole for juvenile to death sentence. This suggested the second line of precedent that the court requires sentencing system to consider the details of the offence and characteristics of the defendant before sentencing him or her to death. The two line of precedents guide the court to conclude that life sentence without parole for juveniles in fringe on the eighth amendment. The court decision was influenced by Graham and Roper cases that established for sentencing reasons children are different from adults under the constitution. Children lack maturity and have no developed sense of responsibility. This leads them to be impulsive and reckless. In Roper it was held children are exposed to outside pressure and negative influences from friends. Therefore, they have less control of their environment because the child’s nature is not2 well informed. Graham and Roper emphasized distinguishing traits of children weakening justification for inflicting harsh sentences to juveniles even when they commit outrageous crimes. The court held in 5-4 majority that the eighth amendment forbids unusual and
Get Access