Thursday, October 29, 2009

Justices will scrutinize life sentences for youths

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 29, 2009

It did not take long for the judge to determine that the convicted rapist in front of him was irredeemable.

"He is beyond help," Judge Nicholas Geeker said of Joe Harris Sullivan. "I'm going to try to send him away for as long as I can."

And then Geeker sentenced Sullivan to life in prison without the possibility of parole. At the time, Sullivan was 13 years old.

Now, 20 years after that sentencing in a courtroom in Pensacola, Fla., the Supreme Court will consider whether Sullivan's prison term -- and what his supporters say is an only-in-America phenomenon of extreme sentences for juveniles -- violates the Constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Read on...

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At October 29, 2009 at 12:00 PM , Blogger Holly said...

I realize this may seem a bit odd given what we know about punishment in the US - but I am still blown away by the severity of sentences the courts give, especially for juveniles.


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