“May all your storms be weathered, and all that’s good get better” —from Shirley Horn’s “Here’s to Life,” quoted in a card from a juvenile lifer born in 1966.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455 (2012), and Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S. Ct. 718 (2016), represent a sea change in the administration of justice for youth in our country. Separately and together, they provide hope, and they represent another rung in the ladder toward more thoughtful and humane sentencing for youth. Miller eliminated mandatory life in prison sentences for youth (under age 18), including homicide offenses, and Montgomery made Miller retroactive. Collectively, they impacted approximately 2,000 cases nationwide, including approximately 500 in Pennsylvania and 300 that originated in Philadelphia County.

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