California v. Gutierrez

Brief of Juvenile Law Center, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, et al.as amici curiae on Behalf of Appellant (full list of amici in appendix to attached brief).

Brief filed: 09/18/2013

Documents

California v. Gutierrez

Supreme Court of California; Case No. S206365

Prior Decision

Cases below Court of Appeal No. B227606 and Ventura County Superior Court No. 2008011529.

Argument(s)

Miller reaffirms the U.S. Supreme Court’s recognition that children are fundamentally different from adults and categorically less deserving of the harshest forms of punishments. California Penal Code § 190.5(b) is unconstitutional because it presumes that life without parole is the appropriate sentence for juvenile offenders. California’s presumptive juvenile life without parole statute contravenes Miller’s requirement of individual sentencing. California’s presumptive juvenile life without parole statute contravenes Miller’s requirement that juvenile life without parole sentences be uncommon. Absent a determination that appellant is among the ‘uncommon’ juveniles for whom a life without parole sentence is justified, his sentence must provide a meaningful opportunity for release.

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Author(s)

Jessica R. Feierman, Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia, PA.