On March 20, 2012, Bryan Stevenson will argue in two cases before the United States Supreme Court that the life imprisonment without parole sentences imposed on Evan Miller and Kuntrell Jackson for homicides committed when they were juveniles constitute cruel and unusual punishment that violates the Constitution.
Stevenson is the attorney who previously argued two 2010 cases before the Supreme Court, Graham vs Florida and Sullivan vs Florida, which resulted in the ruling that Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP) sentences are unconstitutional in non-homicide cases.
Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit group providing legal representation to communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment.
Here Stevenson speaks at TED 2012, the annual conference showcasing innovative thinkers and doers who are influencing the world. In this inspiring 20 minute talk, Stevenson discusses the power of identity, the need to reduce inequalities in the justice system, and the injustices of juvenile life without parole and mass incarceration.
Following this presentation, Stevenson received the strongest standing ovation ever seen at TED, and over $1 million was raised by attendees to fund a campaign run by Stevenson to end the practice of putting children in adult jails and prisons.
Stevenson truly is a hero of children’s rights and justice. Let’s hope and pray that his upcoming visit to the highest court in the land will be as successful as he was previously.
Groove of the Day
March 20, 2012 Following today’s arguments before the Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs, the transcripts were just released and can be found here:
The Supreme Court blog was also just released and it provides a detailed preliminary analysis here:
Additional news coverage and opinion: