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Juvenile Life Without Parole: Unconstitutional In Michigan?, Kimberly A. Thomas Jan 2011

Juvenile Life Without Parole: Unconstitutional In Michigan?, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

Last term, in Graham v Florida,1 the United States Supreme Court found unconstitutional the sentence of life without parole for a juvenile who committed a non-homicide offense. This attention to the sentencing of juvenile offenders is a continuation of the Court's decision in Roper v Simmons,2 in which the Court held that juvenile offenders could not constitutionally receive the death penalty. This scrutiny should be a signal to Michigan to examine its own jurisprudence on juveniles receiving sentences of life without parole. Michigan has the second-highest number of persons serving sentences of life without parole for offenses committed when they …


Affirmative Action As Government Speech, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2011

Affirmative Action As Government Speech, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article seeks to transform how we think about “affirmative action.” The Supreme Court’s affirmative action jurisprudence appears to be a seamless whole, but closer examination reveals important differences. Government race-consciousness sometimes grants a benefit to members of a minority group for remedial or diversifying purposes. But the government may also undertake remedial or diversifying race-conscious action without it resulting in unequal treatment or disadvantage to non-minorities. Under the Court’s current equal protection doctrine, both categories of cases are treated as presumptively unconstitutional. Race-consciousness itself has become a constitutional harm, regardless of tangible effects.

Prior scholarship has suggested that the …