Illinois Supreme Court Gets it Right on Juvenile Life Sentences: Now, the Legislature Ought to Act by Jeanne Bishop
To read this article on The Huffington Post website, click here.
The Illinois Supreme Court got it right today when it ruled that all the inmates currently serving a mandatory sentence of life without parole for crimes committed as juveniles are eligible for new sentences, including sentences of less than natural life. That decision is good for the juveniles, good for society and, ultimately, good for families of victims of the crimes which led to those sentences (I am a member of one of those families: A juvenile murdered three of my family members in Winnetka in 1990, and is doing life without parole in Pontiac prison).
Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down mandatory juvenile life without parole (“jlwop”) sentences in a case called Miller v. Alabama, Illinois has faced a two-part dilemma: What to do with the laws we have on our books permitting people less than the age of 18 to be sentenced to mandatory jlwop, and what to do with the people serving that sentence.