In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of murder was unconstitutional. The court declared life without parole for juveniles was "cruel and unusual punishment," thereby in violation of the 8th Amendment.
States such as North Carolina and Iowa have acted quickly to implement new laws reflecting the ruling, but the court did not give states specific guidance on how to apply the decision, nor as to whether it should be retroactive. Massachusetts has yet to put legislation in place.
- Maggie Mulvihill, co-director of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University
This segment aired on November 20, 2012.