In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Roper v. Simmons. The Court ruled that the execution of child offenders was unconstitutional, finding that juveniles are “categorically less culpable” than adult criminals. Here you will find the full decision in the Roper case, sample briefing materials for litigators on the constitutional and international law aspects of life without parole sentencing, downloadable precedential state cases, and links to other sites that provide information on executive clemency applications.

Click here to visit the American Bar Association's information page on the Roper V. Simmons case, which has all the amicus briefs filed.

Boilerplate brief available for attorneys representing young offenders facing life without parole sentences.

For state-by-state information on applying for executive clemency visit:

View the precedential state cases:

  • Illinois
    OUTCOME: The supreme court found the multiple-murder sentencing statute, as applied to defendant, violated the proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution. It affirmed the trial court's imposition of a term of 50 years' imprisonment.
  • Indiana
    OUTCOME: The court reduced the sentence because the trial court failed to consider the defendant's age as a mitigating factor when it imposed the sentence, but affirmed all of the convictions except the rape conviction.
  • Kentucky
    OUTCOME: The court affirmed the convictions and sentences except for that part of the sentence which precluded the defendants from parole.
  • Nevada
    OUTCOME: The court reduced defendant's sentence to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole.
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