U.S. Courts repeatedly have recognized the salient differences between adults and young offenders, most recently in a 2005 Supreme Court decision abolishing the juvenile death penalty. International human rights law also acknowledges those differences and requires governments to take them into account.

The global rejection of life without parole (as well as the death penalty) for young offenders is overwhelming: The United States is an international anomaly.

The map below depicts the 13 countries, in addition to the United States, that sentence young offenders to life without parole.


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