Juvenile Life Without Parole Decison: New Summary
- School-to-Prison Pipeline
- Child Welfare Crossover
- Mental Health
- Juvenile Defense
- Juvenile Competency
- In-Home Care Incentive
- PREA, Isolation, Restraint
- Youth in Adult System
- Juvenile Life Without Parole
- Youth Reentry
Last Tuesday, news outlets reported that the 350 adults that are currently serving life without parole for crimes they committed when they were under 18 will not be able to have new hearings. The question was put into review following the 2012 Supreme Court Decision that mandatory juvenile life without parole sentences were unconstitutional. Below is a summary of how major news outlets covered the story of this decision.
The news broke on Tuesday, July 8th:
Detroit News: Supporters praise ruling Mich. juvenile lifers won’t get hearings; critics vow appeal
“Today the Michigan Supreme Court upheld the rights of crime victims and their families,” Schuette said. “This ruling should bring a measure of peace to the many families who struggled with the possibility of painful resentencing hearings for cases successfully prosecuted decades ago.”
On July 9th, media sources started reporting a variety of responses to the decision: Detroit Free Press: Editorial: No justice for Michigan’s juvenile lifers
In reality, a venerable constitutional principle prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment has been temporarily subverted, and 334 Michiganders sentenced to life when they were only kids must again place their hopes for justice with the federal judiciary.
Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry: MI Supreme Court’s ruling on juvenile lifers is stupid, expensive and will be overturned
Apart from that, this ruling is, besides unjust, irrationally stupid in that it will cost the taxpayers needlessly. Michigan is being drowned by the cost of our prisons – more than two billion a year.
Holland Sentinel: Haveman denounces Supreme juvenile lifer ruling
“I’m not the same person I was at 19, 18, 17 years old. They aren’t either,” said Rep. Joe Haveman, who has become an outspoken advocate for prison reform in Michigan during his term in state office. “I just fundamentally disagree with it.”
Mlive: Not all victims’ families see ‘juvenile lifer’ decision as a victory
“I’m very disappointed in the decision,” said Stephanie Mitchell, whose great-uncle Rodney Corp was killed by teens 18 years ago. “This is not a victory for all victims’ families — that’s not a unanimous statement.
Battle Creek Enquirer: Michigan Supreme Court got it wrong on juvenile lifers
This ruling isn’t about public safety, but politics. There is absolutely no public safety threat in applying the Supreme Court’s ruling retroactively.
Michigan juvenile lifers still may get freedom, despite Michigan Supreme Court ruling
“There are some guys — their crimes are so heinous, by any objective standard, that they should never be let out,” he said. “But some do have very compelling cases.”
Detroit Free Press: Michigan’s graying juvenile lifers
But juvenile lifers seeking the opportunity for parole would continue to face the burden of demonstrating to a judge, and subsequently to the state parole board, that they were not a threat. So Markman’s suggestion that merely authorizing new hearings for 334 of Michigan’s juvenile lifers would leave the state powerless to stop the “premature release” of dangerous criminals is disingenuous, if not downright dishonest.