The United States Supreme Court rules that teenagers may not imprisoned prison for life with no chance of parole if they have not killed anyone. By a 6-3 vote, the high court rules these cases violate the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
"The court ruled in the case of Terrance Graham, who was implicated in armed robberies when he was 16 and 17. Graham, now 22, is in prison in Florida, which holds more than 70 percent of juvenile defendants locked up for life for crimes other than homicide. 'The state has denied him any chance to later demonstrate that he is fit to rejoin society based solely on a non-homicide crime that he committed while he was a child in the eyes of the law,' Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion. 'This the Eighth Amendment does not permit.'"
Left unanswered are questions about life sentences for juveniles who do commit murder.
The United States is the only country in the world that still sentences juveniles to life in prison without possibility of parole. Black children are sentenced to LWOP ten times more often than white children, according to Amnesty International.
The three votes affirming the right to imprison juveniles for life when they haven't killed anyone? Alito, Scalia and Thomas.
Also today: The Court upheld a federal law that allows the government to keep some sex offenders behind bars after they have served their sentences. Thomas and Scalia dissented in the 7-2 decision.