Mark Pike

Mark Pike is an attorney and recent graduate of William & Mary School of Law. He has been recognized as a Next Generation Leader by the American Constitution Society. You can find more of his writing at his Web site.

Recent Articles

Under Eighteen to Life

The Supreme Court takes up the question of whether life sentences for juvenile offenders are cruel and unusual.

(Flickr/Ken McCown)
In back-to-back cases on Monday morning, advocates argued for a constitutional ban on life-without-parole sentences for juveniles guilty of non-homicidal crimes. Many will argue that these cases are about arbitrary line drawing -- but this is a line that symbolizes the standards of decency in our society. The United States is the only country in the world that imposes sentences lifetime without parole on juveniles. That could change. "Kids are different," said Bryan Gowdy, counsel for one of the juvenile defendants, standing at the Supreme Court steps following his case. "Scientists say this, and we all know it from experience." The cases, Graham v. Florida and Sullivan v. Florida , involve teenagers who were 17 and 13 at the time of their offenses -- two of the 111 youths nationwide given lifetime imprisonment without parole for crimes less than murder. In Roper v. Simmons , the seminal 2005 decision which banned the death penalty for offenses committed by juveniles, the Court...