Oregon Juvenile Sentencing Laws Unconstitutional, Lawyers Argue

Lawyers and legislators in Oregon are arguing that the state’s sentencing guidelines regarding juveniles convicted of murder are in violation of the Constitution.

From NPR:

“Attorneys and lawmakers in Oregon say the state is violating the U.S. Constitution because of laws that require juveniles convicted of murder to be sentenced to what amounts to mandatory life imprisonment.

“In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case called Miller v. Alabama. The nation’s high court ruled it was a violation of the 8th Amendment to sentence a juvenile to the life without the possibility of parole if that’s the only sentence a judge or jury can impose. In other words, there needs to be options.

“On paper, Oregon has two options for sentencing juveniles convicted of aggravated murder.

Life without the possibility of parole; or a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison after which your sentence may be converted to one with a possibility of parole. But the possibility of parole isn’t a given.”

The details regarding Measure 11, the 1994 law that established the juvenile sentencing guidelines at issue in Oregon, can be found HERE.

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