The Constitutionalization of Parole: Fulfilling the Promise of Meaningful Review
Alexandra Harrington, Associate Professor of Law and Director, Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic, University of Buffalo School of Law.
This Article suggests a way to bring the current reality of parole closer to the Court’s promise that parole can render life sentences constitutional. This Article considers how the Supreme Court’s decisions in Graham, Miller, and Montgomery work to constitutionalize parole and change the conventional understanding of the board’s determination. The Article also details the current standards of judicial review of parole board decisions. Because parole is now operating to make constitutional the sentences of people who were children at the time of the offense, the Eighth Amendment task placed on parole boards’ shoulders necessitates substantive standards for the parole board, as well as judicial scrutiny of the board’s determinations.