Articles Posted in Louisiana Supreme Court

by
A jury found defendant Alden Morgan, committed armed robbery at age 17. Following return of the guilty verdict, the district court sentenced him to 99 years imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. After being denied relief on direct review, defendant filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence in light of recent developments in Eighth Amendment jurisprudence pertaining to the sentencing of juveniles. The Louisiana Supreme Court granted the defendant’s writ application to determine whether the defendant’s 99-year sentence was an effective life sentence and was, therefore, illegal under the Supreme Court’s decision in "Graham v. Florida," (560 U.S. 48 (2010)). The Louisiana Court held that a 99-year sentence without parole was illegal because it did not provide the defendant “with a meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.” Accordingly, the Court amended defendant’s sentence to delete the restriction on parole eligibility. View "State ex rel Moran v. Louisiana" on Justia Law

by
Defendant Terrence Roberson was charged with armed robbery and attempted second-degree murder for offenses which allegedly occurred in 2012, when the defendant was sixteen years old. The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on whether the Juvenile Court’s dismissal of defendant's case for expiration of the time period for adjudication provided in the Children’s Code prevented the District Attorney from later obtaining a grand jury indictment against defendant and bringing the case to District Court. In this case, the District Court quashed the defendant’s indictment on the basis of the Juvenile Court’s prior dismissal of the juvenile petition with prejudice. The Court of Appeal reversed the District Court’s grant of the motion to quash. Finding no reversible error in that decision, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Louisiana v. Roberson" on Justia Law

by
The state filed a delinquency petition in the Juvenile Court for the Parish of Orleans charging Defendant with distribution of heroin in violation of La.R.S. 40:966(A)(1). After a hearing, the court adjudicated Defendant delinquent and ordered him committed to the custody of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for a period not to exceed one year. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit set aside the juvenile court's adjudication and disposition order on grounds that "any rational trier of fact, after viewing all of the evidence favorably to the prosecution, must have a reasonable doubt as to the Defendant's guilt." The Supreme Court granted the state's application for review and reversed the decision because the court of appeal erred in substituting its appreciation of the evidence presented at the delinquency hearing for that of the fact finder. View "In the interest of C.D." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court granted a writ application to determine whether a school board had tort liability for expelling a high school student after a fifth-sized bottle of whiskey fell from the student's backpack and broke on the classroom floor. The student claimed he was denied due process in the disciplinary proceedings that resulted in his expulsion. The district court agreed and awarded the student $50,000. Upon review of the trial court record, the Supreme Court found that the student presented no evidence whatsoever of being denied due process at the school board hearing. Finding the student failed to carry his burden of proof to show a denial of due process by the school board, the Court reversed the judgment of the district court. View "Christy v. McCalla" on Justia Law