New York Times Editorial: The Misuse of Life Without Parole

The Supreme Court ruled last year that it is cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a juvenile to life without parole when the crime is short of homicide. In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that life without parole shares “some characteristics with death sentences that are shared by no other sentences” in altering “the offender’s life by a forfeiture that is irrevocable.” The sentence is no less severe when applied to adults. Yet life without parole, which exists in all states (Alaska’s version is a 99-year sentence), is routinely used, including in cases where the death penalty is not in play and where even an ordinary life sentence might be too harsh. From 1992 to 2008, the number in prison for life without parole tripled from 12,453 to 41,095, even though…[For full story: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/opinion/the-misuse-of-life-without-parole.html?_r=1&ref=opinion ]

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New York Times Editorial: The Misuse of Life Without Parole

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