Friday, June 29, 2012

Tanenhaus on the Juvenile Justice Decision

David S. Tanenhaus, Nevada-Las Vegas Law and History, the author of several books on the history of juvenile justice, and the outgoing editor of Law & History Review, has an op-ed in the New York Times on the Supreme Court's decision banning mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders.  It commences:
The Supreme Court’s decision this week to ban mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for offenders younger than 18 is an emphatic rejection of the “get tough” juvenile justice policies of the 1980s and 1990s, which punished children as if they were adults. Writing for the majority, Justice Elena Kagan’s clear statement not only recognized the political and biological principle that children are different from adults but at last also inscribed it into constitutional law.