Are juries giving out too many life without parole sentences?

In this May 14, 2012 photo provided by the Delaware County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office is Isaiah Sweet, then 17, who pleaded guilty to shooting his grandparents. A judge ruled Tuesday, March 11, 2014 that Sweet, now 19, should serve the maximum sentence of life in prison without parole for the 2012 slayings of Janet and Richard Sweet at their home in Manchester, Iowa. AP Photo/Delaware County Sheriff’s Office
Sister Helen Prejean, a Roman Catholic nun and advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, was in town last month to give the keynote address at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis.

She argues that a sentence of life without parole is akin to a sentence of death.

“As a society we have to examine our belief that severe punishment is the way to restore order,” she told The Sun magazine. “The main objective of prisons is to keep society safe, not to cause prisoners pain simply because they caused others pain. People who have committed violent crimes need to be imprisoned to keep the public safe, but we must also strive for rehabilitation. We know that prisoners who get an education tend not to reoffend, but we’ve cut most educational programs from prisons — really, any program that might restore humanity to the prisoners. Restorative justice would improve our society instead of simply throwing people away.”

The Daily Circuit discussed the topic this morning. Read more and listen here.

Today’s Question: Are juries giving out too many life without parole sentences?