Juveniles sentenced to life without parole
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Juveniles Sentenced to Life Without Parole. Surveying the international community’s feelings on JLWOP. Research Hypothetical. Much debate in the United States over whether or not juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) is constitutional under the Eighth Amendment.

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Juveniles sentenced to life without parole

Juveniles Sentenced to Life Without Parole

Surveying the international community’s feelings on JLWOP


Research hypothetical
Research Hypothetical

  • Much debate in the United States over whether or not juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) is constitutional under the Eighth Amendment.

  • Juveniles lack the capacity to fully comprehend the results of their actions and because they have the greatest potential to be rehabilitated, it could be cruel and unusual to punish them to imprisonment for life.

  • JLWOP is extremely uncommon in the United States, but currently still legal.

  • Research goal: survey the international community’s opinion of JLWOP. International law might not be binding on U.S. courts, but it could be influential.


Research steps
Research Steps

  • Google

    • Human rights issue  lots of NGOs and secondary sources

  • Treaties

    • Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • Statutes

    • South Africa

    • Germany


The rest of their lives
The Rest of Their Lives

  • International Human Rights Law

    “The international prohibition against life without parole sentences for children (as well as the death penalty) is one of the crucial human rights protections for youth who have broken the law.”

    “The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) explicitly addresses the contradiction between the particular rights and needs of children and life without parole sentences.284”

    “The United States and Somalia292 are the only two countries in the world that have not ratified the CRC, although both have signed it.293”

    “[N]otone of the original fifteen member states of the European Union allows children to be sentenced to life without parole.314 On the African continent, thirty-one countries prohibit life without parole for children in their penal laws.315Six other African countries have decided that the sentence cannot be imposed on child offenders under sixteen.316”


Convention on the rights of the child
Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • UN.org  Documents  Treaty CollectionMTDSG

  • Human rights issue

  • Other important treaty is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)


The child justice bill s afr
The Child Justice Bill (S. Afr.)

  • I knew the title and the jurisdiction, so I went to the Foreign Law Guide and searched by jurisdiction.

  • I followed a hyperlink to the South African Legal Information Institute and searched the site for “Child Justice Bill.” The Child Justice Act of 2008 was the first search result.

  • To find the applicable part of the Bill, I searched for “life”

  • I found article 77(6), which prohibited JLWOP as per international obligations.



Southern african legal information institutive
Southern African Legal Information Institutive

http://www.saflii.org/za/legis/num_act/cja2008132.pdf


Youth courts law germ
Youth Courts Law (Germ.)

  • Foreign Law Guide  Juris (http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/)

  • “Translations” tab (http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/Teilliste_translations.html)

  • Youth Courts Law (http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_stgb/index.html)