The United States was singled out Monday by a United Nations expert on torture for being the only country in the world that continues to sentence children to life in prison without parole.

“The vast majority of states have taken note of the international human rights requirements regarding life imprisonment of children without the possibility of release,” Juan Méndez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, said in his report, before noting that the United States is the only country to continue the practice.

A sentence of life without parole means life and death in prison — a practice considered cruel and inhumane punishment for juveniles under both international and U.S. law.

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by Natasja Sheriff

March 9, 2015