The Supreme Court revisits its ruling that mandatory sentences of life without parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders.

How Many Juvenile Murderers Deserve a Shot at a Second Chance?

How Many Juvenile Murderers Deserve a Shot at a Second Chance?

Law and the Supreme Court justices who interpret it.
Oct. 17 2015 6:02 AM

No Second Chances

Should hundreds of convicted murderers be allowed to make the case that they’ve changed?


Listen to Episode 28 of Slate’s Amicus:


If prosecution for witchcraft has been deemed unconstitutional, what should courts do about people already imprisoned for that offense? That was a hypothetical posed by Justice Stephen Breyer this week during arguments in Montgomery v. Louisiana. The case considers an earlier ruling by the Supreme Court that threw out mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders, and asks whether it should apply retroactively to the hundreds of people still serving those sentences. Dahlia discusses the case with Slate contributor Robert J. Smith, a visiting scholar at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law and co-author of an amicus brief in Montgomery.

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Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate and hosts the podcast Amicus.