Supreme Court to rule on constitutionality of life sentences for juveniles

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in four cases. In two of the cases, the Court will consider juvenile life sentences. In Graham v. Florida [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the Court will consider whether the Eight Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishments prohibits the imprisonment of a juvenile for life without the possibility of parole as punishment for the juvenile's commission of a non-homicide. In the similar case of Sullivan v. Florida [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the Court will consider whether the imposition of a life without parole sentence on a 13-year-old for a non-homicide violates the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, where the extremely rare imposition of such a sentence reflects a national consensus on the reduced criminal culpability of children.

In Hemi Group, LLC v. New York [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the Court will consider whether city government meets the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) [text] standing requirement that a plaintiff be directly injured in its "business or property" by alleging non commercial injury resulting from non payment of taxes by non litigant third parties.

In Shady Grove Orthopedic Association v. Allstate Insurance Co. [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the Court will consider whether a state legislature can properly prohibit the federal courts from using the class action device for state law claims.

 

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