Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Hon. Richard Posner weighs in on Miller v. Alabama, yesterday's Supreme Court decision barring sentences of life without parole for minors. He makes so many good points that it is tempting to block and copy the whole thing, but instead I will merely urge you to do so. A few teasers: The decision "is a good illustration of how unmoored constitutional law has become." Indeed, your Honor. Why, I was just saying.... Also this:
Is the United States a maturing society? Surely not in the realm of criminal law, a real disaster area—we imprison a higher fraction of our population than any civilized nation (and than most of the uncivilized ones), many for trivial crimes involving mind-altering drugs less dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes; life sentences are imposed with abandon; prosecutorial discretion is very broad and often exercised irresponsibly; and judges' sentencing discretion, also broad, is exercised much of the time in an intellectual vacuum.

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