Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

This week the blog will publish a multi-part online symposium on United States v. Texas, a challenge by Texas and twenty-five states to the Obama administration's deferred-action policy for immigration. Contributions to this special feature, as well as an “explainer” by this blog's Lyle Denniston, are available here.

Jackson v. Hobbs

Linked with:

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
10-9647 Ark. S. Ct. Mar 20, 2012
Tr.
Jun 25, 2012 TBD Kagan OT 2011

Holding: The Eighth Amendment prohibits a sentencing scheme that requires life in prison without the possibility of parole for juvenile homicide offenders.

Plain English Summary: In a series of decisions dating back to 1988, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that youths under age 18 who commit crimes must not necessarily get as severe a punishment as adults who committed the same kind of crimes. Among other rulings, the Court has forbidden the death penalty for minors who commit murders, and it has barred a sentence of life in prison without a chance of release for minors who commit crimes in which the victim is not killed. In this new ruling, the Court avoiding imposing such a flat ban on life without parole for a minor who commits murder, but it did rule out such a sentence as a mandatory requirement in all such cases. It said, though, that it does not expect very many youths under age 18 to get such a sentence that essentially would require them to stay in prison until they die.

Judgment: Reversed and remanded, in an opinion by Justice Kagan on June 25, 2012. Justice Breyer filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Sotomayor joined. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito joined. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Scalia joined. Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Scalia joined.

SCOTUSblog Coverage

Briefs and Documents

Merits Briefs for the Petitioner

Amicus Briefs in Support of the Petitioner

Merits Brief for the Respondent

Amicus Briefs in support of the respondent

Certirorai-stage Documents

 
Share:
Term Snapshot
Awards