UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT RULES MANDATORY LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR JUVENILES VIOLATES THE 8TH AMENDMENT!
In Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs the Supreme Court held state laws that mandate life without parole for everyone under the age of 18 at the time of their crimes in homicide cases violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments.
The Court did not bar life without parole sentencing for juveniles in homicide cases, but it ruled those sentences cannot be mandatory.
The Court specifically held YOUTH MATTERS!
Colorado has 50 youth sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole for crimes that were direct filed in criminal court.
CJDC supports their constitutional right to a re-sentencing hearing under the Miller/Jackson decision and is working with indigent juvenile defense agencies to ensure all youth are appointed counsel and that counsel is well-trained to zealously represent these former youth.
CJDC is also working to reform sentencing schemes for youth in adult court, including life without parole.
For more information on the Supreme Court cases:
Evan Miller was 14 years of age when he was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.
Click here for the briefs in Miller v. Alabama, No. 10-9646.
Click here for a transcript of the Miller v. Alabama oral argument.
Kuntrell Jackson was 14 years of age when he was convicted of first degree murder, as an accomplice, under a felony murder theory, and sentenced to life without parole.
Click here for the briefs in Jackson v. Hobbs, No. 10-9647.
Click here for a transcript of the Jackson v. Hobbs oral argument.