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New Hampshire rules Miller is retroactive

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Miller v. Alabama must be applied retroactively. This ruling means that people who were sentenced to mandatory life without parole for crimes committed as children are eligible for relief and resentencing, including those who were sentenced before the U.S. Supreme […]

Iowa Supreme Court rules against mandatory sentences

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled in Iowa v. Lyle that mandatory sentences for children are unconstitutional under the Iowa Constitution. The Court relied on the reasoning in Miller v. Alabama and Graham v. Florida to hold that a child facing a prison term is entitled to an individualized sentencing hearing during  which the factors […]

National Association of Counties condemns JLWOP

The National Association of Counties, the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States, has taken an official position against sentencing children to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The organization approved a resolution against the practice during its annual conference last week in New Orleans. NACo joins a growing, […]

Voices: Holding hope despite disappointment

My brother was given a sentence of life without parole for a crime he was convicted of participating in on his 16th birthday. That was more than 24 years ago, and since that time we have been fighting against this inhumane sentence. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Miller v. Alabama should have brought a chance […]

Momentum and challenges at second Miller anniversary

Dear friends, This week marks two years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that it is unconstitutional to impose mandatory life-without-parole sentences upon children. The landmark ruling followed a series of recent decisions from the Court declaring children “constitutionally different” from adults and requiring our justice policies to account for these […]

Two years since Miller v. Alabama

Both momentum and challenges are evident at the second anniversary of the Miller v. Alabama decision. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 25, 2012 that mandatory sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional when imposed upon children. This interactive map shows how states have responded to eliminate or limit […]

Pope responds to children sentenced to life without parole with call for "mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation"

Pope Francis calls for “mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation” in a response to hundreds of letters sent to him from people serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for crimes committed as children. His letter amplifies the leadership and deepening support from diverse partners in the faith community for age-appropriate alternatives to life in […]

Florida legislature provides review opportunities for all children

The Florida Legislature has passed a bill that is expected to significantly limit the state’s practice of sentencing children to die in prison. Under HB 7035, almost every child who could have previously been sentenced to life without parole  will be given the opportunity to go back before a judge to have his or her […]

Hawaii legislature abolishes JLWOP

Hawaii has abolished the practice of sentencing children to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The legislature has approved HB 2116 CD1 and sent it to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature. Gov. Abercrombie signed the measure into law on July 2. “In Hawaii, family is the most important part of life,” said […]