U.S. Supreme Court holds Miller retroactive, providing review opportunities for youth

January 25, 2016

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that any child sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole is eligible for review. Further, the Court said that any child serving life without parole – except for the rare cases where it has been found that the child’s crimes reflect “permanent incorrigibility” – violates the eighth amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Today’s decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana provides review opportunities for thousands of youth sentenced to die in prison before the Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama nearly four years ago that it is a violation of the 8th Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment to impose an automatic sentence of life-without-parole upon a person who was younger than 18 at the time of a crime.