Sentencing of Juveniles to Life Imprisonment Without Parole
Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP) - Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
The Human Rights Clinic is co-counsel in a case currently pending before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights challenging life without parole sentences for juveniles in the state of Michigan. There are over 300 juvenile offenders who are serving life without parole sentences in Michigan. Under current Michigan law, a child as young as fourteen can be charged, tried, sentenced and incarcerated in an adult prison for life without any evaluation or assessment of how age or individual circumstances may affect culpability, rehabilitative capacity, cognitive ability or public safety concerns. The IACHR petition challenges Michigan law as a violation of the right of the child to special protection, the right to be free from cruel inhuman or unusual punishment and to humane treatment and due process guarantees. The Clinic is co-counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Michigan. Click here to see a copy of the petition submitted to the Commission.
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Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP) - Other Advocacy
In the fall 2007 students helped draft sections of an amicus brief to go to the Supreme Court of South Carolina in the Pittman case where a boy was sentenced to 30 years in prison without possibility of parole for a crime committed when he was 12 years old. [LINK] The clinic’s contribution to this brief followed comprehensive research on comparative practices in juvenile sentencing and the requirements and aspirations of international law in this area. Students also submitted a letter to California state politicians and officials in support of an amendment to that state’s JLWOP law.