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Revisiting Some Recent Supreme Court Decisions

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Supreme Court's decision on health care yesterday was just one of several handed down this week. The justices also struck down mandatory life sentences for juveniles, citing cruel and unusual punishment.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

There are more than 2,000 inmates serving mandatory life sentences for crimes they committed as minors. The high court said judges should be allowed to consider mitigating factors such as a young defendant's immaturity or the circumstances of his or her upbringing.

MONTAGNE: The Supreme Court also struck down the Stolen Valor Act. That law made it a crime to lie about being decorated for military service. It arose from the case of a California man who made up a story that he'd been awarded the Medal of Honor. It turned out he'd never even served in the military.

WERTHEIMER: In a six-to-three decision, the majority wrote that while falsely claiming to have earned military medals is, quote, "contemptible," it is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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