• Known Unknowns: Legislating for a Juvenile's Reformative Uncertainty

    Author(s):
    Tiffani Darden
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    MSU Law Faculty Repository
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/dhns-mx88
    Abstract:
    Three landmark decisions drastically changed the sentencing standards for juvenile offenders. In Roper v. Simmons' and Miller v. Alabama, 2 the Supreme Court held that states may not impose the death penalty and mandatory life without parole sentences in cases with juvenile defendants. These cases vanquished the most severe consequences for youthful criminal behavior. Most recently, Montgomery v. Louisiana retroactively applied the Miller opinion.3 The majority clarified that the prohibition against mandatory life without parole prior to conducting an individualized assessment was a substantive rule fulfilled through procedural means because juveniles are constitutionally different from adults.4 The intermediate case of Graham v. Florida5 also speaks volumes about the newfound influence of adolescent development research on constitutional law. In each opinion, the Court drew heavily on social science, developmental psychology, and neuroscience research to make a final determination on the constitutional outer-boundaries of juvenile sentencing.
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    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 weeks ago
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