The United States is the only country in the world that sentences children to die in prison. This practice, known as juvenile life without parole (JLWOP), is condemned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet twenty-five states still permit the sentence, and Michigan houses one of the nation’s largest JLWOP populations. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ban on some forms of JLWOP, more must be done to further limit the use of this sentence. The current JLWOP sentencing scheme is untenable, imposes a significant financial burden on taxpayers, and perpetuates racial inequality. This Note explores these reasons for eliminating the practice and ultimately urges Michigan to follow other states in enacting a categorical ban on JLWOP, either through judicial decision or legislative action.
Second Chances: Why Michigan Should Categorically Prohibit the Sentence of Juvenile Life Without Parole,
U. Mich. J. L. Reform
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjlr/vol55/iss3/5