On The Proliferation of Racial Bias in Juvenile Sentencing

Source: Mother Jones

In the coming weeks, the case Montgomery v. Louisiana will go before the Supreme Court to settle the issue of retroactivity in Miller v. Alabama, which ruled unconstitutional the use of automatic life-without-parole sentences for juvenile offenders, reports Mother Jones.

The pending case, the outcome of which will affect states that have decided not to re-sentence prisoners serving life-without-parole for juvenile crimes convicted prior to Miller, draws attention to the racial discrimination present in the juvenile justice system.

Mandatory sentencing has ended, but research from the Phillips Black Project reveals that discretionary sentencing has allowed for extreme racial bias in charging juvenile crimes. Unfortunately, prosecutors, judges, and juries are more likely to choose harsher sentences for youth of color.

In fact, the Phillips Black Project data revealed, “…since 1992, black children arrested for more murder are twice as likely to end up sentenced to life without parole as white children arrested for murder,” writes Mother Jones.

With Montgomery v. Louisiana before the Supreme Court, the coming weeks will see changes for the national population of individuals incarcerated on juvenile life-without-parole sentences, hopefully for the better.

Read full story at: Mother Jones

Justice & Poverty, News
Justice & Poverty, News