In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court declared laws that require judges to
impose life-without-parole sentences for juveniles to be in violation of
the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishments.”
The decision (Miller v. Alabama) was a 5-4 split in the Court – which is typical of many such decisions that apply the cruel and unusual punishment provision.
Your initial post must analyze the retributive justice issues of
mandatory, life-without-parole sentences. Consider the facts of Miller v. Alabama:
Defendant Miller, a 14-year old boy, with an accomplice beat the victim
with a baseball bat and set his trailer on fire with the victim inside.
Defendant Miller was tried as an adult for capital murder while
Is a mandatory, life-without-parole sentence just in such
circumstances? Remember that “just” may or may not be the same as
“constitutional.” Summarize both the pros and the cons of your answer to
this question, and critically evaluate these pros and cons, applying
principles of retributive justice discussed in the text. Your evaluation
must respond to the pros and cons, giving persuasive reasons why you
agree with some and disagree with some.
Your initial post should be at least 300 words in length. Support
your claims with examples from at least two of the required resources
for this discussion, and properly cite any references. Respond to at
least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7 whose viewpoints are
different from yours. Each peer response must be at least 125 words.
Stimulate critical thinking by contrasting your perspective with your
classmate’s and explaining yours, or by asking your classmate a question
and explaining why your question is significant.