While blacks represent about 16 percent of Florida's population, and about half its prison population, 84 percent of juveniles sentenced to life without parole for non-homicide offenses were African-American.
Florida has sentenced 77 young men to spend their lives in prison, without any chance of release, based on non-homicide crimes they committed when they were 17 years old or younger, according to a preliminary study by Florida State University researchers. Six of those prisoners were 13 or 14 at the time of their crimes. . . . some juveniles were given life without parole for as few as one or two convictions of non-homicide crimes. . . . Florida prisoners represent 69 percent of the 111 inmates reported nationally to be serving life without parole for their non-homicide juvenile crimes. Thirty-six states have no non-homicide juvenile lifers.
Two pending U.S. Supreme Court cases are reviewing Florida's extremely punitive approach to juvenile justice.
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