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States begin to implement the 2016 Supreme Court ruling on juvenile life without parole—with uneven results.

In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled in Montgomery v. Louisiana that allowing those who were sentenced as juveniles to life without parole to be considered for parole “ensures that juveniles whose crimes reflected only transient immaturity—and who have since matured—will not be forced to serve a disproportionate sentence in violation of the 8th Amendment.Montgomery v. Louisiana, 577 U.S. ___(2016), 136 S. Ct. 718 (2016). The ruling clarified that the Court’s 2012 ban on mandatory life without parole for juveniles should be applied retroactively.

State courts and legislatures have begun to implement reforms to conform to the new ruling, under which juveniles must have a chance to someday argue for their release. According to a comprehensive investigation across all 50 states by the Associated Press, “dozens of inmates have won new sentences—and some, freedom—while others wait or fight to have their sentences reviewed.”“A State-by-State Look at Juvenile Life without Parole,” Associated Press, July 31, 2017.