The United States Supreme Court decided in January to expand a ban on mandatory life without parole for over 2000 under-aged offenders who were already serving these sentences. This decision has affected those convicted of a juvenile crime in New Jersey and many other states by causing lawyers to look at these cases differently. Now, the logic of this decision is prompting courts to look differently at other cases as well.
Although the Supreme Court ban was set for those juveniles who were sentenced to life without the chance of parole, courts all over the country are using it to set a precedent for other kids as well. Those who have been sentenced to life with parole are also drawing attention from this ruling. Now, attorneys throughout the U.S. are arguing for those who are serving sentences that include the chance of parole, but for whom it will likely never be granted.
According to the Supreme Court ruling, teenagers should not be treated the same as adults. The court felt that juveniles are less mature than adults when they commit crimes. These kids are also more likely to change for the better than adult criminals are, according to the report. So attorneys are battling for these kids to be given lighter sentences, and therefore, a chance to be reformed and build a life.
Kids in New Jersey and other states who have been given life sentences for juvenile crimes deserve the chance to start over, according to the logic of this Supreme Court ruling. Lawyers all over the country are using this logic to argue cases for under-aged offenders. Anyone who has been convicted of a juvenile crime for which they could receive a life sentence may choose to consult with a criminal law attorney who can guide him or her in how to proceed with the best defense possible.
Source: njherald,com, "AP: Juvenile life ruling affects some with parole option", Juliet Linderman, Aug. 14, 2017