Ten years ago, our country took an important step to improve our justice system when the United States Supreme Court abolished the death penalty for juveniles.

It is long past time we extended the logic of that ruling and abolished life without parole sentences for juveniles as well.

In its landmark 2005 decision, Roper vs. Simmons, the court found that the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment prohibits the execution of those whose crimes were committed under age 18 because their unique characteristics as children made them less culpable than adults.

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By Robert Morgenthau

March 2, 2015