Supreme Court Rules That Minors Can Be Sentenced To Life Without Parole

In some cases that would be appropriate, though exile might be better…

Written by Carmine Sabia

It is starting to appear that some liberals believe that it is either Ok to be murdered by a teenager or, if murdered by a teenager, the punishment should be less severe.

Newsflash. The age of the person who murdered you does not make you any less dead, and the Supreme Court agreed on Thursday, The New York Times reported.

The court decided, in a 6 – 3 vote along ideological lines, that a juvenile defendant can be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole without having to have separate evidence proving that they are beyond rehabilitation.

The “argument that the sentencer must make a finding of permanent incorrigibility is inconsistent with the Court’s precedents,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh said in the majority decision.

There are not many states that allow life sentences without parole for minors and Justice Kavanaugh said that those states would not be affected by the ruling.

He said that the ruling does not stop states from “imposing additional sentencing limits” for juveniles convicted of murder. States could demand “extra factual findings before sentencing,” or simply “categorically prohibit” life sentences without parole for juvenile murderers.

“But the U.S. Constitution, as this Court’s precedents have interpreted it, does not demand those particular policy approaches,” he said.

In Montgomery v. Louisiana in 2016, the court made the Miller decision retroactive. In the process, it seemed to read the Miller decision to ban life without parole not only for defendants who received mandatory sentences but also “for all but the rarest of juvenile offenders, those whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility.”

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Miller, the Mississippi Supreme Court granted Mr. Jones a new sentencing hearing. The trial judge resentenced him to life without parole without saying in so many words that he was incorrigible.

Writing for the majority on Thursday, Justice Kavanaugh said the resentencing did not violate the Eighth Amendment, which bans cruel and unusual punishments, because the punishment imposed by the trial judge had been discretionary rather than mandatory.

He said his opinion “carefully follows both Miller and Montgomery,” stressing that the 2016 case had made clear that the court “did not impose a formal fact-finding requirement.”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett joined that majority opinion.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a liberal justice nominated by former President Obama, gave a strong dissent to the ruling.

The liberal justice declared that “the court is fooling no one.”

“The lone statement on which the court fixates,” she said, “recognizes only that Miller does not mandate a particular procedure for considering a defendant’s youth or explaining the sentencer’s decision. Miller certainly does not require sentencers to invoke any magic words.”

“Today,” she said, “the court guts Miller v. Alabama and Montgomery v. Louisiana.”

“Unbound by Miller’s essential holding, more than a quarter of Mississippi’s resentencing have resulted in the reimposition of L.W.O.P.,” or life without parole.

“Elsewhere, the numbers are even more alarming,” she said. “As of 2020, Louisiana has imposed L.W.O.P. on an astonishing 57 percent of eligible juvenile offenders since Miller was decided.”

Recently we have witnessed liberals being furious that a police officer would shoot a 13-year-old, Adam Toledo, who, less than a second before he was shot had a un in his hand. And we watched as some liberals were equally incensed that a police officer would shoot a 16-year-old as she was swinging a knife, set to plunge it into her intended victim.

And now they are enraged that a teenager who murders someone could face the same punishment as an adult. Are you any less dead if a teenager kills you?

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