Elliott v. State

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's order denying Appellant a resentencing hearing and imposing a life sentence with parole eligibility pursuant to the Fair Sentencing with Minors Act of 2017 (FSMA), holding that the penalty provisions of the FSMA did not apply to Appellant. In 2000, Appellant pled guilty to capital murder and received a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. Appellant was sixteen years old at the time of the murder. After the United States Supreme Court decided Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), the circuit court granted habeas relief and vacated Appellant's life-without-parole sentence and remanded his case for resentencing. Before a resentencing hearing was held, however, 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. On remand, the circuit court sentenced Appellant under the FSMA to life in prison with parole eligibility after thirty years. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) because Appellant committed his crime before the effective date of the FMSA, the penalty provisions of the Act did not apply to him; and (2) Appellant was no longer serving a sentence to which parole eligibility could attach. View "Elliott v. State" on Justia Law