July 01, 2012

ABA Hails Supreme Court Decision on Juvenile Sentencing

The views expressed herein have not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, and accordingly, should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association.

Statement of Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, President, American Bar Association

Re: Supreme Court Ruling in Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs

The American Bar Association hails the Supreme Court’s ruling in Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs eliminating the mandatory imposition of a sentence of life without parole on juvenile offenders.

We are gratified that the court followed its precedents in Roper v. Simmons and Graham v. Florida in determining that juvenile offenders are constitutionally different from adults for sentencing purposes. Juveniles are less morally culpable and more capable of rehabilitation than adults convicted of the same crimes.

The ABA has long maintained that the possibility of parole for juveniles will not compromise public safety or penal objectives. While not all juveniles will be able to establish that they should be granted parole, they should not be denied the opportunity to be considered for parole before they die in prison.


Read the ABA’s amicus brief in Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs.