Supreme Court Review 2017/2018 TERM
TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2018
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Issue:  Eighth Amendment
Consolidated With:  Jackson v. Hobbs

Miller v. Alabama

10-9646

QUESTION(S) PRESENTED

Evan Miller was sentenced to a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without parole for a homicide offense committed when he was only fourteen years old. Evan is one of only seventy-three fourteen-year-olds nationwide who are serving such sentences. The questions presented are:

1.    Does imposition of a life-without-parole sentence on a fourteen-year-old child convicted of homicide violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments' prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments, when the extreme rarity of such sentences in practice reflects a national consensus regarding the reduced criminal culpability of young children?

2.    Does imposition of mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without parole on a fourteen-year-old child convicted of homicide - a sentence imposed pursuant to a statutory scheme that categorically precludes consideration of the offender's young age or any other mitigating circumstances - violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments' prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments?

DECISION

Decided June 25, 2012 HOLDING

The Eighth Amendment forbids a sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without possibility of parole for juvenile homicide offenders.

KAGAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which KENNEDY, GINSBURG, BREYER, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined. BREYER, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which SOTOMAYOR, J., joined. ROBERTS, C. J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA, THOMAS, and ALITO, JJ., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA, J., joined. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA, J., joined.

Text of Opinion
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CERTIORARI STAGE

Granted November 7, 2011

Certiorari Stage Documents
      Petition for Certiorari (pdf download)
Brief in Opposition (pdf download)
Petitioner's Reply (pdf download)

PROCEEDING BELOW

Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama
Decided August 27, 2010
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