94) The Supreme Court of Alabama declined Miller's invitation to examine the constitutionality of mandatory JLWOP sentences, (95) but the United States Supreme Court heard the case together with Jackson v.
101) Inspired by those opinions, Jackson petitioned for habeas corpus, (102) but his request was denied by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which held that Roper and Graham were narrowly tailored to death sentences and JLWOP for noncapital crimes respectively, and that their logic could not be extrapolated to apply to JLWOP for capital offenses.
The Court obfuscated a thirty-seven states majority allowing JLWOP for nonhomicides by showing that many of those thirty-seven rarely issued the sentence.
Having established the precedent that JLWOP could be a "cruel and unusual punishment" in Graham, Justice Kagan's heavy reliance on the authority of Graham and Roper necessarily required international law.
Whether juvenile murderers should be put to death, whether noncapital juvenile criminals should receive life without parole, and whether JLWOP can be a mandatory sentence are all legitimately debatable issues.
Despite the Court's ruling, at least one legal scholar seriously doubts the Constitution actually forbids JLWOP for noncapital crimes.
111) Though Graham approached JLWOP categorically, it is not clear whether it signals a preference for that approach in other contexts.
This differential also allowed Sullivan to make a stronger case on the "unusual" prong of the test, as imposition of JLWOP was dramatically less frequent for the very young.
Sullivan's argument was largely taken over by discussion of a procedural issue and of the actual numbers of children serving JLWOP sentences.
However, Justice Kennedy did point to Sullivan's case to illustrate "the flaws of Florida's system," in which JLWOP could be imposed on a very young person "based only on a discretionary, subjective judgment by a judge or jury that the offender is irredeemably depraved.
However, Chief Justice Roberts would have left JLWOP as an option in cases involving "far more reprehensible" crimes.
The APA also included a separate argument that JLWOP is a grossly disproportionate punishment.