Carey Institute for Global Good
Works in Progress – episode 11
Danielle Wolffe (2016) will create long-form newspaper, magazine and radio pieces on some of the 42 women currently incarcerated under Juvenile Life Without Parole legislation (JLWOP). She’ll show how their status as “lifers”—attained when they were girls—has affected them, their families and our society. The United States is the only country in the world that sentences children to life without parole. Over 2,500 people were sentenced as children under the law, which made life sentences mandatory for certain crimes. A 2012 case, Miller v. Alabama, ruled that juveniles can’t be sentenced to mandatory life without parole as they are developmentally and constitutionally different than adults. The fate of those inmates sentenced to JLWOP prior to 2012 are left to the discretion of the states, which may elect whether or not to apply Miller v. Alabama retroactively.