As long as a juvenile has not killed anyone, serving a life sentence with no chance of parole is cruel and unusual punishment. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that such sentences are unconstitutional. The Court said such a harsh punishment is disproportionate to the crime. The Court also relied on a 2005 decision in which they struck down the death penalty for juvenile offenders.
In dicta, the Court said that juveniles are less culpable then adults, and there is no way to predict if they will remain dangerous. Life sentences without parole do not give the offender any chance of demonstrating they are rehabilitated. The decision should have a broad impact, as at least 129 juveniles are currently serving life sentences without parole.