High Court Moves Away From Leniency For Minors Who Murder

FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2020, file photo the Supreme Court in Washington. After more than a decade in which the Supreme Court moved gradually toward more leniency for minors convicted of murder, the justices have moved the other way. The high court ruled 6-3 Thursday along ideological lines against a Mississippi inmate sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally stabbing his grandfather when the defendant was 15 years old. The case is important because it marks a break with the court’s previous rulings and is evidence of the impact of a newly more conservative court. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(AP) — The Supreme Court has made it easier to sentence minors convicted of murder to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The ruling reflects a change in course driven by a more conservative group of justices.

In a dissent, a liberal justice accused her colleagues of gutting earlier decisions that said life without parole sentences for people under age 18 should be rare. The current case involved a Mississippi inmate and a crime committed when he was 15.

Justices were considering whether a minor has to be found to be incapable of being rehabilitated before being sentenced to life without parole. In a 6-3 decision Thursday that split the justices along ideological lines, the court said no.


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