In 2012, in Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court held that a sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without possibility of parole for juvenile homicide offenders violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. This Term, in Montgomery v. Louisiana, the Court will decide whether the Miller standard should be applied retroactively to cases where sentencing took place before the Miller decision. State supreme courts have split in their interpretation of whether Miller requires retroactive application. In the current case, in 1963, when he was 17, Henry Montgomery shot and killed Charles Hurt, a sheriff’s deputy. Montgomery is among a reported 1,500 prisoners who stand to be resentenced if the Court holds that Miller is to be applied retroactively.
- John J. Park, Jr., Of Counsel, Strickland Brockington Lewis LLP