When it comes to juvenile convictions and sentencing, some gray areas may be encountered. Brett Jones found himself a product of this uncertainty in his post-conviction relief proceeding. At the age of 15 Jones stabbed his grandfather to death and was sentenced to life in prison; however, at this hearing the Mississippi Supreme Court ordered he be resentenced after a hearing to determine his parole eligibility. Simultaneous to this decision was the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Miller v. Alabama and Montgomery v. Louisiana; in Miller, the Court held that mandatory life in prison without parole for juveniles was a violation of the Eighth Amendment, and in Montgomery, it clarified that Miller barred life in prison without parole for all juveniles except for "the rarest of juvenile offenders, those whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility." Despite this precedent, the Circuit court held that Jones was still not entitled to parole eligibility.
Marc Levin, Chief of Policy & Innovation, Right on Crime, Texas Public Policy Foundation
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