Juvenile Life Without Parole (Amicus Brief) Historic Case

At a Glance

Date Filed: 


Current Status 

On May 17, 2010, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the imposition of a life without parole sentence on a juvenile offender convicted of a non-homicide crime violated the 8th Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and inhuman punishment. In his majority opinion, Justice Kennedy relied in part on the internal human rights arguments put forth in the amicus brief that CCR helped draft.

Case Description 

CCR joined as an amicus in Graham v. Florida and Sullivan v. Florida, two cases that will evaluate how the Eighth Amendment’s clause on cruel and unusual punishment applies to sentencing juveniles. In the amicus brief CCR encourages the U.S. Supreme Court to consider international laws as indicators that life in prison without parole is indecent and excessive punishment for juveniles under the age of 18. The United States is the only country in the world that imposes sentences of life without parole against juveniles.

The complete brief is attached at the bottom of this page.