Adam Liptak and Lisa Faye Petak recently wrote an interesting article about juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) for the New York Times. The article examines the U.S. Supreme Court's recent dismantling of severe juveniles punishment and how that rationale might be applied to JLWOP.
In Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005) the Supreme Court struck down the death penalty for Juveniles. In 2010, the Supreme Court struck down JLWOP for non-homicide offenses in Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. ___ (2010). Liptak and Petak ask, is JLWOP for homicide the next frontier for the Supreme Court?
The article goes into detail explaining that circumstances are not entirely the same. With regard to Roper more than 30 states had abandoned the death penalty for juveniles by the time the case got before the court. In Graham, only 12 states were sentencing juveniles to life without parole for non-homicide offenses.
JLWOP for murder does not share that same type of national consensus opposing its implementation. The article is worth reading and can be found at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/us/21juvenile.html?_r=1&ref=us