Before a person under the age 18 can be given a life sentence with no hope of parole, judges must take the defendant's age and the nature of their crime into consideration.
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that mandatory sentences for murderers that included people under 18 was tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.
Justice Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy, Ruther Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayer were in the majority.
“We therefore hold that mandatory life without parole for those under age of 18 at the time of their crime violates the 8th Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments,” wrote Sotomayer for the majority.
Read the full decision here.