David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
This article focuses on the sentencing of child offenders (those convicted of crimes when younger than eighteen years of age) to a term of life imprisonment without the possibility of release or parole ("LWOP"). It argues that the LWOP sentence condemns a child to die in prison, is cruel and ineffective as a punishment, has no deterrent value, contradicts our modern understanding that children have enormous potential for growth and maturity in passing from youth to adulthood, prevents society from ever reconsidering a child's sentence, and denies the widely held expert view that children are amenable to rehabilitation and redemption.The article asserts that the United States is the world's only remaining practitioner of LWOP sentencing of juveniles, and that in the United State the sentence is applied disproportionately among youth of color. The article analyzes international human rights standards and international law to demonstrate that imposing sentences of LWOP for child offenders is a violation of law. The article identifies several juvenile justice and rehabilitation models of other countries and United States states that can serve as alternatives to harsh and inappropriate sentencing for children, and it makes recommendations to governments and policy-makers for remedying violations of international human rights standards, and for improving the opportunities for juvenile rehabilitation.The authors conclude by recommending that: countries should continue to denounce as a violation of international law the practice of sentencing juveniles to LWOP, to condemn the practice among the remaining governments which allow such sentencing, and to call upon those where the law may be ambiguous to institute legal reforms confirming the prohibition of such sentencing. The authors further recommend that the United States should abolish the juvenile LWOP sentence under federal law and undertake efforts to bring the United States into compliance with its international obligations to prohibit this sentencing.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael Davis (1982). Sentencing: Must Justice Be Even-Handed? [REVIEW] Law and Philosophy 1 (1):77 - 117.
Michael A. Simons, Departing Ways: Uniformity, Disparity, and Cooperation in Federal Drug Sentences.
Phillip Balsmeier & Jennifer Kelly (1996). The Ethics of Sentencing White-Collar Criminals. Journal of Business Ethics 15 (2):143 - 152.
Pablo S. Torre & Sison Torre, Sympathy for the Devil? Child Homicide, Victim Characteristics, and the Sentencing Preferences of the American Conscience.
David Archard, Children's Rights. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Wesley Cragg (1992). The Practice of Punishment: Towards a Theory of Restorative Justice. Routledge.
Roozbeh Baker, Proportionality in the Criminal Law: The Differing American Versus Canadian Approaches to Punishment.
Tyrone Kirchengast (2010). Proportionality in Sentencing and the Restorative Justice Paradigm: 'Just Deserts' for Victims and Defendants Alike? [REVIEW] Criminal Law and Philosophy 4 (2):197-213.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads6 ( #190,970 of 1,096,437 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?