Life without parole for the very worst juvenile offenders is reasonable, constitutional, and (appropriately) rare. In response to the Western world’s worst juvenile crime problem, U.S. legislators have enacted commonsense measures to protect their citizens and hold these dangerous criminals accountable. Forty-three states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government have set the maximum punishment for juvenile offenders at life without the possibility of parole. By the numbers, support for its use is overwhelming. Nonetheless, its continued viability is at risk from misleading lobbying efforts in many states and court cases that seek to substitute international law for legislative judgments and constitutional text.
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