Juvenile Life-Without-Parole in Illinois

Last week, Cook County Judge Angela Petrone resentenced Adolfo Davis to natural life in prison without the chance of parole. Davis was first ordered to life in prison without parole when he was just 14 years old. HRW has previously stated that this is a violation of human rights, and fails to recognize the fundamental human rights of all children, including their right to special protection. In 2012, SCOTUS ruled that sentencing youth to mandatory life without parole is unconstitutional as it is considered a “cruel and unusual punishment.” This landmark ruling appeared to move the United States in the right direction in regards to international human rights law, namely expectations for the U.N Convention on the Rights of the Child. This treaty is yet to be ratified by two countries: the United States and Somalia. The United States remains the only country in the world to impose sentences of life without the possibility of parole on juvenile offenders.

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