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February 2, 2015

Major developments on Eighth Amendment juve sentencing fronts

Students should recall the class-preview post in which I noted two notable on-going cases concerning the Supreme Court's modern Eighth Amendment jurisprudence limiting the imposition of life without parole sentences on juvenile offenders.  The end of last week and this coming week involve developments on this front:

  • Late last week, as reported in this post from my main blog, the petitioner at the center of the case SCOTUS took up to resolve whether its 2012 Miller ruling should be applied retroactively was released from prison.  In addition to providing yet another interesting story about "who sentences," the release of George Toca means that SCOTUS will need to take up a new case to resolve whether its Eighth Amendment ruling declaring unconstitutional mandatory life without parole (LWOP) for juvenile murderers should be applied retroactively.

  • The Ohio Supreme Court will hear oral argument this week in Ohio v. Moore to examine whether the SCOTUS 2010 Graham ruling declaring unconstitutional LWOP for juvenile non-homicide offenses should apply to a lengthy term-of-year sentence.  Helpfully, this post at Legally Speaking Ohio provides an effective argument preview, starting with the basic fact that "Brandon Moore was sentenced to a 112-year prison term for convictions in 2002 on three counts of rape, three counts of complicity to rape, three counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping, and firearm offenses, all arising from offenses he committed when he was fifteen years old."

I am planning to attend the oral argument, which starts at 9am on Wednesday February 4, at the Supreme Court of Ohio. Folks interested in this case can read all briefs submitted via this Ohio Supreme Court link, including this short amicus brief that I helped author for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

February 2, 2015 in Ohio news and commentary, SCOTUS cases of note, Who decides | Permalink


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