Today, the Supreme Court has been issuing opinions on cases ranging in topics. RRM wanted to update our blog readers, and we’ll have a running list of the important decisions being made today.
No Life Sentence for non-Murder Crimes Committed by Juveniles: The SCOTUS ruled that persons who are under 18 and convicted of crimes that are not murder may not be given life sentences. The court was divided 5-4 over the case of a 17 year old given life for his second robbery in Florida, and Justices Kennedy, Sotomayor, Stevens, and Ginsburg ruled against the sentence. Justice Roberts agreed that the sentence was too harsh in this case, but in other cases, it would be justified. Thomas, Scalia, and Alito joined in the dissention, and noted that state laws would be overridden with this ruling.
Sexually Dangerous Offenders can be Kept in Prison: Prison stays for those inmates deemed “sexually dangerous” can be extended to protect the public. This upheld the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act that President Bush signed. Only Thomas and Scalia dissented, stating that they felt the law was unconstitutional and overstepped the powers Congress was given in the 8th Amendment.
This post will be updated as decisions come.