Professors Connie de la Vega and Michelle Leighton recently filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Amnesty International and other human rights organizations. (Download a PDF version of the brief here:Download Amicusbrief) The brief, filed in support of appellants Graham and Sullivan, urges the Court "to consider international law and opinion when applying the Eighth Amendment's clause prohibiting cruel and unusual punishments."
Both Graham and Sullivan involve juveniles sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. In Graham v. Florida, Graham pled guilty to armed burglary and attempted armed robbery and received a sentence of time served and three years probation. He was sentenced to life without parole at the age of 17 after violating probation. In Sullivan v. Florida, Sullivan was sentenced to life without parole for his involvement in a rape committed at age 13.