Montgomery v. Louisiana

Posted: November 16, 2015 by beguide in Criminal Procedure, Fantasy Supreme Court League
Tags:

WHAT HAPPENED?
The defendant was a juvenile who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1963.  His appeal was subsequently granted and he was charged with life imprisonment without parole.  In between then and now, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Miller v. Alabama, which held that mandatory life imprisonment sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of murder violated the 8th Amendment.  Defendant wants that ruling to apply to him so that he can receive a new sentence.
WHY IS THIS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT?
The Court commonly makes amendments to its decisions regarding criminal procedure, and because they can affect so many incarcerated people, the Court has made a rule that says that only certain decisions apply retroactively to people who are incarcerated.  The Court must then decide whether this rule, that juveniles cannot be given this sentence, is either (1) a substantive rule, or (2) a watershed rule of criminal procedure.   Since neither of those terms mean anything tangible, there is a great deal of debate over how Miller v. Alabama should be viewed.
WHAT IS THE RULING
This case is not yet decided.
WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS DECISION?
It really depends on who you are, and considering the fact that you are getting Supreme Court analysis from a website that features a scene from Halloween on it, my guess is that you’ll be just fine.  For other people, this case could mean that prisoners who were denied parole would get an opportunity to be heard.  On the flip side, it also means that Courts will be inundated with new motions and parole requests that were previously deemed moot.
YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR MONTGOMERY IF YOU
Think that the prison systems are too crowded and that parole and probation should be utilized more.  You also value this plight over the that of an over-burdened, underfunded criminal justice system.
YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR THE LOUISIANA IF YOU:
Prefer the orderly flow of judicial business over the fact that people are in jail unjustly.  You may also fall into this category if you believe the Court should follow the applicable law in this case, which strongly favors Louisiana, over the moral implications of criminal justice.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s