State Supreme Court Strikes Down Life Without Parole for Juvenile Offenders
Thursday, saying the policy violates the state Constitution as 'cruel and unusual punishment,' the Washington State Supreme Court struck down life without parole for juvenile offenders--regardless of the crime.
The case involved 16-year-old Brian Bassett. He was kicked out of his home by his parents, he then later returned and fatally shot both of them. Justice Susan Owens wrote "We hold the sentencing juvenile offenders to life without parole is cruel and unusual punishment, and therefore unconstitutional"
Basset had been convicted of 3 counts of aggravated first degree murder, as he also fatally shot his brother as well. He was sentenced to life without parole, but will be sent back to court for re-sentencing as will several others who were given the same sentence for their crimes.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a similar manner in 2012 on the same subject.