Supreme Court: Michigan’s juvenile lifer law is barbaric

By Steve Neavling

Guess what, Michigan?

You know how you force judges to require juveniles convicted of murder to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole? You can’t do that.

The Supreme Court delivered the ruling today in a growingly rare victory for compassion and common sense.

Before today, children as young as 14 years old were automatically sentenced to life without parole. Never mind that children’s prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that distinguishes right from wrong – has not fully developed.

Michigan, you used tax dollars to force children – many of them misguided, abused and capable of reform – to languish in violent prisons.

Did we really need the high court to you that?

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.