That's the title of this piece in The Huffington Post by FAMM President Julie Stewart, noting that the recent Supreme Court decision in Miller v. Alabama has a good holding based on good reasoning -- that mandatory minimum life-without-parole sentences shouldn't apply to juveniles because it is cruel and unusual -- and that the same reasoning should make all mandatory minimum sentences unconstitutional.
Why limit justice to an age group?
... why should Justice Kagan's otherwise sound sentencing logic -- that people must be sentenced as individuals -- only apply to juveniles? Why is it permissible to strong-arm judges into giving a mandatory life without parole sentence to an 18 year-old, but not to a 17 year-old? A mandatory minimum sentence is no less unjust, no less disregarding of the facts and circumstances of the crime and the offender, and no less cruel and unusual if the offender is 19, 27, 45, or 90. Age is an important sentencing factor, but it should not be the divider between constitutional and unconstitutional mandatory minimum sentences.
Ask any prisoner and her family: each and every day of mandatory punishment that is more than necessary and merited, is cruel and unusual punishment.