Life without parole for juveniles: The Supreme Court decides

An artist rendering shows Supreme Court justices in Washington, Monday, June 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Dana Verkoutere)

Hour 1

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that states may no longer sentence juveniles under the age of 18 who have committed homicide to mandatory life sentences without parole.  The 5-4 majority ruling in the case called such sentences a violation of the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” Roughly 2,100 individuals currently in U.S. prisons were sentenced as juveniles without the possibility of parole. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has about 450 inmates in its prisons who were sentenced to life without parole for committing murder before they were 18, the largest number in the country. In this hour of Radio Times, we’ll talk with two guests who have long been advocates for eliminating life sentences without parole for juveniles — MARSHA LEVICK of the Juvenile Law Center and LAURENCE STEINBERG, professor of psychology at Temple University. We’ll also hear from DARYL ROMIG, whose daughter Danni was murdered by a juvenile who is serving life without parole in Pennsylvania.

Listen to the mp3

[audio: 062612_100630.mp3]

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal