U.S. Supreme Court & Federal Cases

2012

JLWOP

Jackson v. Hobbs
Defendant Jackson challenges his sentence of life imprisonment without parole for felony murder occurring during a robbery incident less than three weeks after his 14th birthday. Specifically, Jackson asserts that the Eighth Amendment prohibit a mandatory sentence of life without parole for a 14-year-old child who was not the trigger person and who did not intend to kill. The Supreme Court of the United States heard argument on this case on March 20, 2012 and a decision is pending.

Petitioner’s Brief on the Merits
Respondent’s Brief on the Merits
Petitioner’s Reply Brief
Amnesty International Amicus Brief for Miller & Jackson
All Other Amicus Briefs for Miller & Jackson

Miller v. Alabama
Defendant Miller challenges his sentence of life imprisonment without parole for capital murder raising both a categorical challenge to the constitutionality of a life-without-parole sentence for a 14-year-old and a challenge to the imposition of a mandatory life-without-parole sentence on a child of that age. Specifically Miller asserts that the Eighth Amendment prohibits a mandatory sentence of life without parole for a 14-year-old child. Miller’s case was heard at the Supreme Court of the United States on March 20, 2012 in tandem with Jackson v. Hobbs. A decision is still pending.

Petitioner’s Brief on the Merits
Respondent’s Brief on the Merits
Petitioner’s Reply Brief
Amnesty International Amicus Brief for Miller & Jackson
All Other Amicus Briefs for Miller & Jackson

2009

JLWOP

Graham v. Florida
Defendant Graham challenges his sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Graham was convicted of armed burglary with assault and attempted robbery, a non-homicide offense, at age 16. On May 17, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution does not permit a juvenile offender to be sentenced to life in prison without parole for a non-homicide offense.

Petitioner’s Brief on the Merits
Respondent’s Brief on the Merits
Petitioner’s Reply Brief
Amicus Brief in Support of Petitioner
U.S. Supreme Court Decision
Responses to amicus briefs of Sixteen Members of Congress, et al. with respect to international law before the U.S. Supreme Court

Sullivan v. Florida
Defendant Sullivan challenges his sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Sullivan allegedly committed a sexual battery, a non-homicide offence, at age 13.On May 17, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Graham v. Florida that the Constitution does not permit a juvenile offender to be sentenced to life in prison without parole for a non-homicide offense. The Court dismissed the Sullivan case on the grounds that the certification petition had been improvidently granted.

Petitioner’s Brief on the Merits
Respondent’s Brief on the Merits
Petitioner’s Reply Brief
Amicus Brief in Support of Petitioner

2005

Juvenile Death Penalty

Roper v. Simmons
Defendant Simmons challenges his death sentence under the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Simmons was convicted of first-degree murder in Missouri and sentenced to death. On March 1, 2005 The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the juvenile death penalty violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Amicus Brief in Support of Respondent
Court’s Opinion