Recent United States Supreme Court decisions have declared it unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile to mandatory life in prison without an opportunity for parole. Virginia, a state that abolished parole in 1995, has yet to recognize the federally mandated prohibition against disproportionate punishment imposed on juveniles, particularly in cases where the mandatory minimum sentence is life without parole. This article proposes the General Assembly should amend current laws that reflect the unconstitutionality of these statutes as applied to juveniles.
Julie E. McConnell, Capital Sentencing for Children in Virginia in the Wake of Miller v. Alabama and Montgomery v. Louisiana, 21 Rich. Pub. Int. L. Rev. 47 (2017).