Skip to main content
Publications

Amicus Brief in Support of Ending Felony Murder LWOP Sentences in Pennsylvania

October 29, 2021
In Pennsylvania, some 1,100 people are serving life-without-parole (LWOP) sentences despite never having intended to take a life. Pennsylvania is one of just six states that mandate LWOP for all individuals convicted of felony murder.

In Pennsylvania, some 1,100 people are serving life-without-parole (LWOP) sentences despite never having intended to take a life. Pennsylvania is one of just six states that mandate LWOP for all individuals convicted of felony murder. This lifetime ban on parole eligibility, which effectively guarantees a person will die in prison, categorically violates the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment and the Cruel Punishments Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The Sentencing Project submitted the below amicus brief to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on behalf of Marie Scott, Normita Jackson, Marsha Scaggs, and Tyreem Rivers.

We thank our legal counsel Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, the Andy and Gwen Stern Community Lawyering Clinic at Drexel University School of Law, and the International Human Rights Law Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law.

Click here to read the amicus brief.

For an updated statutory analysis see our report, Felony Murder: An On-Ramp for Extreme Sentencing.

 
Related Posts
publications
May 27, 2022

Oversight Hearing on Clemency and the Office of the Pardon Attorney

William Underwood
Senior Fellow William "Bill" Underwood testified before the House Judiciary Committee about the need for Congress to provide more opportunities for second chances for people serving extreme sentences.
news
April 11, 2022

#SecondChanceMonth: Unlock the Vote

Honoring April as Second Chance Month gives us an opportunity to check in on developments in voting rights and expanding the franchise to incarcerated voters. The Sentencing Project is working regularly with state and local campaigns to expand voting rights to justice impacted voters.