Supreme Court will take up issue of life sentences for children involved in violent crimes

Court will review life sentences for young

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether long prison sentences for children who are convicted of violent crimes violate the Constitution.

The justices said Monday they will take up appeals in two Florida cases challenging life sentences for teenagers. In one case, 13-year-old Joe Sullivan was convicted of raping an elderly woman. In the other, a judge found that 17-year-old Terrance Graham took part in an armed home invasion robbery while he was on probation for an earlier violent crime.

Lawyers for both defendants asked the court to rule that life sentences with no possibility of parole for juveniles whose crimes did not involve murder violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

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