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        Juvenile Life Sentences Ruled Unconstitutional | Second Chance Kids

        Learn how a series of Supreme Court decisions has impacted juvenile murder convictions on the national and state level in these videos excerpted from FRONTLINE: Second Chance Kids. Citing improved scientific understanding of the teenage brain, the Supreme Court ruled three times in cases involving violent juvenile offenders: on banning the execution of juveniles (2005), limiting life without parole sentences (2010), and abolishing mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole (2012). Because states differed widely in their interpretation of its decisions, the Supreme Court ruled again in 2016, forcing states that had resisted the 2012 decision to act and commute life sentences.

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        Supreme Court Rulings

        The Supreme Court takes developmental science into account and rules three times on aspects related to the legality of the death penalty and life sentences for juvenile offenders.

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        States Interpret the Rulings

        States interpret the Supreme Court's 2012 judgment in different ways.

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        The Court Reacts to States' Different Interpretations

        States interpret the Supreme Court's 2012 judgment in different ways.

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