In June 2012, the United States Supreme Court found mandatory life-without-parole sentences against juvenile offenders unconstitutional in Miller v. Alabama. The Court determined that because children possess “immaturity, impetuosity, and [fail] to appreciate risks and consequences,” they are fundamentally different than adults. Although Miller invalidated every juvenile mandatory life-without-parole (JMLWOP) statute across the United States, there is no clear indication regarding whether Miller retroactively applies to juveniles sentenced to mandatory life-without-parole before the Court’s ruling. As a result, states are split on whether to apply Miller retroactively. Fifteen states have yet to decide whether Miller applies retroactively, while several other states have either (1) declined to give Miller a retroactive effect or (2) passed legislation that does not apply Miller retroactively or provide for resentencing for JMLWOP. This Comment evaluates why the States should apply Miller retroactively.
W. P. Conlon,
Miller v. Alabama: Something Unconsitutional Now Was Equally Unconstitutional Then,
U. Mich. J. L. Reform Caveat
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjlr_caveat/vol48/iss1/3