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Patricia O'Connell
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Thomas McCarthy Comments on High Profile Juvenile Criminal Cases

March 16, 2012

Wiley Rein Appellate partner Thomas R. McCarthy was interviewed by MSNBC on the Supreme Court's upcoming argument in Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs, two cases asking whether teen-aged murderers should be eligible to serve life imprisonment without parole.

The article reported that, in 2005, the Supreme Court abolished executions for juvenile offenders and followed that up in 2007 by ruling it unconstitutional to impose life-without-parole sentences on juveniles convicted of crimes that do not involve homicide. The question before the Court in the Miller and Jackson cases is whether juveniles may ever be sentenced to life-without parole for homicide crimes.

Mr. McCarthy, who is co-Director of the Supreme Court Clinic at George Mason University School of Law, filed an amicus brief with the Court on behalf of the National Organization of Victims of Juvenile Lifers. He stated that life imprisonment sentences handed to teenagers are "relatively rare and imposed only on teenagers who commit extremely heinous murders."

To read the amicus brief, click here.