Miller v. State

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court denying Appellant a resentencing hearing and imposing a life sentence with parole eligibility pursuant to the Fair Sentencing of Minors Act (FSMA), holding that the circuit court erred in sentencing Appellant under the FSMA because Appellant committed his crime before the effective date of the FSMA. In 1996, Appellant was convicted of capital murder and received a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without parole. Appellant was sixteen years old at the time of the crime. After the United States Supreme Court decided Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), Appellant filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus. The circuit court issued the writ, vacated Appellant's sentence, and remanded the case for resentencing. Before Appellant's resentencing hearing was held, the general assembly passed the FSMA, which eliminated life without parole as a sentencing option for juvenile offenders and extended parole eligibility to juvenile offenders. The circuit court retroactively applied the FSMA to Appellant and resentenced him to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after thirty years. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded for a resentencing hearing, holding that Harris v. State, 547 S.W.3d 64, controls this appeal and that the circuit court erred by sentencing Appellant under the FSMA. View "Miller v. State" on Justia Law