Document Type

Supreme Court Commentaries

Publication Date



Eighth Amendment, Criminal Law, Juvenile Offenders, Life without Parole

Subject Category

Constitutional Law | Supreme Court of the United States


The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits excessive criminal sanctions, and the Supreme Court has held that this provision has special application in situations dealing with juvenile offenders. This Commentary looks at the recent Supreme Court case of Montgomery v. Louisiana, in which the Court held that there was a constititutional prohibition of life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders. This Commentary argues that this is the correct result under the Court’s Eighth Amendment jurisprudence but that the Court should also have held that the sole remedy for such constitutional violations is resentencing.