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SCOTUS Goes After Capital Crimes

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Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Morning News
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(Las Vegas, NV) –  The Supreme Court of the United States has been busy this week. First it was immigration in Arizona, now they are dealing with murder.

When Miller v. Alabama went before the Supreme Court, the only possible sentence for a juvenile convicted of a capital crime in Alabama was life without parole. That is not the case anymore.

The Supreme Court already struck down the death penalty for juveniles, leaving life without parole as the only option for capital crimes committed before a person’s 18th birthday.

Nevada Deputy Chief Attorney General Thom Gover spoke with KXNT and explained what was behind the decision. “It was a lack of discretion that is being exercised by a sentencer or a judge in these mandatory, automatic types of situations. That’s what they wanted to rectify.”

The decision will certainly not allow murderers to go free, but rather meet with a parole board.

Gover went on to explain how Nevada is different than Alabama. “If a jury found a juvenile guilty of first-degree murder it was an automatic life without possibility of parole. We don’t have that in the state of Nevada.”

Those convicted for a capital juvenile offense in Alabama already will now be able to appeal their sentencing and perhaps get it commuted to life with the possibility of parole.

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