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New Data from SG in Juvenile Sentencing Case
Posted By Aruna Viswanatha On May 28, 2010 @ 10:39 am In News | Comments Disabled
When the Supreme Court ruled last week that juveniles cannot be sentenced to life in prison without parole for crimes that don’t include homicide, it relied, in part, on bad information, the Blog of Legal Times reported  Thursday.
The 6-3 opinion in Graham v Florida, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, included statistics supplied by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Prisons on the number of federal prisoners serving life without parole for crimes committed before they turned 18. The Bureau of Prisons found six individuals that fit that description based on its automated inmate records, and Kennedy included that detail in the opinion.
But in a letter  to the court earlier this week, acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said that information was wrong. “[I]t appears that none of the six inmates listed … is serving a life sentence based solely on a non-homicide crime completed before the age of 18,” he wrote.
The Justice Department had initially stayed out of the case, according to the BLT, raising questions that may be an issue during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, who was then serving as Solicitor General.
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