Justices weigh life in prison for youth

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Two juvenile offenders will appeal Monday to the Supreme Court about their sentence for life in prison, the New York Times said.

Joe Sullivan, who committed rape at 13, and Terrance Graham, who committed armed burglary at 16, argue that the Eighth Amendment bans cruel and unusual punishment, which means they should not be sentenced to die in prison for crimes other than homicide, the New York Times said.

About 2,700 juveniles are facing life sentences in the United States -- a punishment no other nation in the world has, Newsweek said.

Sullivan, now 33, and Graham, now 22, are serving life sentences without parole and hope their case can open the door to a revised sentence, Newsweek said.

The Supreme Court has generally allowed states to determine punishment for crimes, the New York Times said.

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