Prospects for developmental evidence in juvenile sentencing based on Miller v. Alabama

Thomas Grisso*, Antoinette Kavanaugh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions barred mandatory life without parole for juvenile homicide (Miller v. Alabama, 2012) and applied Miller retroactively (Montgomery v. Louisiana, 2016). Miller identified several developmental factors to consider in mitigation, but left many questions unanswered about their application. The authors offer several sentencing contexts to frame the types of developmental and clinical evidence that may be relevant for Miller hearings under various circumstances. Within these contexts, they explore types and sources of relevant developmental evidence and raise questions about quality and limitations. Their analysis identifies areas in which appellate court clarification is needed to determine how developmental evidence will be used in Miller cases, and they alert developmental experts to prospects and cautions for providing relevant evidence, as well as areas in need of research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-249
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Development
  • Evidence
  • Forensic
  • Juvenile
  • Sentencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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