California passed a statute in 2017 that retroactively eliminates life-without-parole sentences for children. The new statute provides that a person sentenced to life without parole for an offense committed before age 18 is eligible for parole at a youth offender parole hearing during his or her 25th year of incarceration…
This memo addresses mandatory minimum penalties for children sentenced as adults and proposes legislation to eliminate such penalties.
This memo addresses the criteria and procedures that parole boards should use in considering the release of juvenile offenders serving lengthy sentences and provides model provisions to implement the proposed practices.
This memo addresses reforms that have raised the minimum age of transfer to adult court and proposes legislation to limit or eliminate transfer of young teenagers to the adult criminal justice system.
This memo addresses confinement of children in adult facilities and proposes legislation to end the practice.
This memo addresses solitary confinement of children and provides ideas for legislation to end the practice.
This memo describes reforms relating to the prosecution and sentencing of young adults ages 18-25 and proposes legislation to limit or mitigate imposition of adult penalties on this age group.
S.B. 796, Jan. Sess. (Conn. 2015) (amending Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 54-125a, 46b-127, 46b-133c, 46b-133d, 53a-46a, 53a-54b, 53a-54d, 53a-54a and enacting new sections).
A District Court for the Western District of Missouri denied a motion to dismiss a case asserting that Missouri’s parole practices violate the rights of juvenile offenders under the state and federal constitutions, reasoning that the plaintiffs’ allegations, if proven, could permit a finding that the state’s parole practices failed to provide the requisite meaningful opportunity for release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.
A federal district court in Louisiana held that Louisiana’s former “two-step parole procedure” failed to provide a meaningful opportunity for release and, thus, that habeas relief was warranted for a defendant serving a mandatory life sentence under this system.
The Washington Supreme Court applied Miller to an 80-year aggregate sentence, explaining that Miller applies anytime a juvenile offender might be sentenced to die in prison without a meaningful opportunity for early release based on rehabilitation, whether the sentence is for a single crime or an aggregate sentence for multiple crimes.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court confirmed that Miller applies to discretionary life-without-parole sentences, concluding that there is a presumption against the imposition of juvenile life without parole that may be overcome only if a court determines, based on competent evidence and beyond a reasonable doubt, that a juvenile is “entirely unable to change.”
The Illinois Supreme Court held that a juvenile offender may be sentenced to life without parole only if the trial court determines after consideration of youth that the defendant’s conduct showed irretrievable depravity, permanent incorrigibility, or irreparable corruption.
The Illinois Supreme Court concluded that Miller and Montgomery apply to discretionary life-without-parole sentences, and that a juvenile offender may be sentenced to life without parole only if the trial court determines after consideration of youth that the defendant’s conduct showed irretrievable depravity, permanent incorrigibility, or irreparable corruption.
The Idaho Supreme Court concluded that a discretionary fixed-life sentence violated Miller and Montgomery where the sentencing court heard no evidence of the mitigating factors of youth and made only brief, general reference to the defendant’s age at sentencing.
S.B. 9, 147th Gen. Assemb., Reg. Sess. (Del. 2013) (amending Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, §§ 636(b), 4209, 4209A, 4204A).
H.B. 2116, 27th Leg. Sess. (Haw. 2014) (amending Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 706-656(1), -657).