Discrete. Effective. Aggressive.
Trial Attorneys
Free Case Evaluation

Missouri grapples with life sentences for juveniles

In June 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in Miller v. Alabama, holding that mandatory life sentences without parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. That decision has left some of Missouri's offenders in limbo as state courts try to determine the best course of action.

Currently, there are 84 inmates in Missouri prisons serving life sentences for crimes committed when they were juveniles. Determining how to reform Missouri's sentencing laws to comply with the high court's decision will ultimately be up to state lawmakers. However, in the meantime the Missouri Supreme Court is hearing cases and trying to come up with an interim solution for these inmates.

Under current state law, the criminal charge of murder in the first degree can only be punished one of two ways: life without parole or death. An earlier Supreme Court decision held that it is also unconstitutional to sentence juvenile offenders to death. Advocates of juvenile justice have argued that the state's lawmakers should set a broad range of sentencing options so judges can use their discretion in these cases.

Young people, including those who carry the most promise for our state and our future, will inevitably make mistakes. Mistakes are a vital part of growing up and they help us learn and become better people. However, when a young person is sentenced to live out the rest of their days in prison that promise can be dashed.

Of course the state has a valid interest in holding criminal offenders responsible for their actions and protecting public safety. However, the state also has an interest in making sure that children are treated fairly under the law so they have an opportunity to grow up and contribute to society.

We can hope that courts and lawmakers will take those competing interests seriously as they shape the future of the state's juvenile offenders.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Missouri's top court hears 2 cases of St. Louis juveniles given life sentences," Jennifer Mann, April 30, 2013

Real Results

Winning Cases They Say Can't Be Won

Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

Contact Travis Noble | Free Consultations

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Travis L. Noble, Jr.
Rated by Super Lawyers


loading ...

Past results afford no guarantee of future results and every case is different and must be judged on its own merits. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. This disclosure is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Missouri.

At Travis Noble, P.C. we value your feedback. Click here to write us a review:

Write Us a Review
TN - Travis Noble - Attorneys at Law

8000 Maryland Avenue, Suite 910
St. Louis, MO 63105
St. Louis Law Office Map

Free Consultations
Phone: 314-450-7849
Toll Free: 866-794-0947
Click Here to Pay Your Invoice
Credit Cards Accepted