The authors cite the significance of research showing that juvenile offenders should be treated differently than adults:
Youth do not have adult levels of judgment, impulse control, or ability to assess risks. There is widespread agreement among child development researchers that young people who commit crimes are more likely to reform their behavior and have a better chance of rehabilitation than adults.
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering two cases involving the constitutionality of sentencing youth to life in prison without parole. Oral argument in Graham v. Florida and Sullivan v. Florida were heard in November and decisions in the cases are expected soon. For more on the constitutional issue in those cases, see a guest post from constitutional law expert Charles Ogletree here.