The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld a ruling that juveniles convicted of murder may be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The case involves Kenneth Loggins who was convicted in Alabama of the 1994 murder of a hitchhiker committed when he was 17 years old. Loggins was originally sentenced to death but the death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment after the United States Supreme Court decision in Roper v. Simmons in which the Supreme Court ruled that juveniles convicted of murder could not receive the death penalty. Loggins challenged the sentence of life without the possibility of parole on the grounds that it constituted cruel and unusual punishment and violated the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court of Appeals disagreed with Loggins and held that a juvenile can still be convicted of capital murder and receive the strictest punishment available so long as it is not the death penalty. While the United States Supreme Court has ruled that life without parole for juveniles convicted of non-murder case is unconstitutional, it has not ruled on life without parole for murder cases. The ACLU has filed several lawsuits against several states seeking to have this issue taken up to the Supreme Court. The ACLU points out that the United States is the only country that sentences juveniles to prison without the possibility of parole.
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