A decision Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court won't change anything in California, but it is likely to stir up some controversy elsewhere across the country.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that it's unconstitutional to mandate sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole for juveniles convicted of murder, according to the New York Times.
The court in a 5-4 decision said such mandatory sentences violate the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully pointed out in a press release that California doesn't require mandatory life without parole punishments for juvenile murderers, but can still use the punishment when it's appropriate.
Scully criticized Justice Elena Kagan's majority opinion for referring "to cold blooded murderers as children, who should be excused because of their age and lack of judgment. Americans under the age of 18 do not commonly carjack a mother and her two young children and shoot all three in the head, or slaughter their parents and grandparents, or kill a police officer with intent and premeditation, as gang member Jimmy Siackasorn did here in Sacramento killing Deputy Sheriff Vu Nguyen," Scully was quoted as saying. "The sentence of life without parole, for juveniles and adults alike, is only used after careful consideration, in the interest of justice, and on behalf of victims.”
Elk Grove, what do you think of this ruling? How should California and other states punish juveniles who are convicted of murder? Should the killers receive more leniency because they're under 18, or should they be given a mandatory sentence of life without parole? Take our poll below and leave a comment with your thoughts.