State Cases

Click on the links below for state information.

Alabama Hawaii Massachusetts New Mexico South Dakota
Alaska Idaho Michigan New York Tennessee
Arizona Illinois Minnesota North Carolina Texas
Arkansas Indiana Mississippi North Dakota Utah
California Iowa Missouri Ohio Vermont
Colorado Kansas Montana Oklahoma Virginia
Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Washington
Delaware Louisiana Nevada Pennsylvania West Virginia
Florida Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Wisconsin
Georgia Maryland New Jersey South Carolina Wyoming

Arkansas

JLWOP

Lemuel Session Whiteside v. State of Arkansas (JLWOP) (2011)
Defendant Whiteside challenges a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a juvenile who did not kill or intend to kill. Whiteside asserts such as sentence is barred by the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Additionally he asserts the unconstitutionality is heightened by the Arkansas mandatory sentencing scheme, which fails to address the reduced culpability of adolescents and precludes the judge from taking age into account. Whiteside was convicted of felony murder.

California

JLWOP

In Re Nuñez (JLWOP) (2009)
Defendant Nuñez challenged his sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under the federal and California constitutions. Nuñez was convicted of a non-homicide offence, kidnapping for ransom, associated with a crime committed at age 14. The case was decided in Nuñez’ favor with the court holding the sentence is cruel and unusual and violates the federal and California constitutions.

De Facto JLWOP

In Re Caballero (110 years to life) (2011)
Defendant Caballero challenges his sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under the federal and California constitutions. Cabellero was convicted of non-homicide offenses, three counts of attempted murder, with gang and firearm enhancement, at age 16. A decision is still pending.

Life Sentence

State v. Pratcher (50 years to Life) (2007)
Darrren Pratcher challenges his sentence of 50 years to life in prison under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution and international law. Mr. Pratcher was found guilty of first degree murder for a crime he committed at the age of 15.

Florida

Graham v. Florida (2009)
See U.S. Supreme Court Cases

Sullivan v. Florida (2009)
See U.S. Supreme Court Cases

Illinois

Life Sentence

People v. Allen (2008)
Defendant Allen challenges his sentence of natural life imprisonment under the Illinois and federal constitutions. Allen was convicted of first-degree murder for crimes committed at age 15.

Missouri

Juvenile Death Penalty

Roper v. Simmons (2005)
See U.S. Supreme Court Cases

Nevada

JLWOP

Domingues v. State of Nevada (1999)
Defendant Domingues challenged his convicted of murder in adult court and death sentence for crimes committed at age 16. He brought this international claim in trial court in Nevada. The trial court denied his claims. He appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court, which concluded that due to the United States’ reservation to the ICCPR, Domingues’ death sentence did not violate international law. In 1999, Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court invited the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the United States in this case. The brief outlined the United States’ opposition to Domingues’ argument regarding violations of international law. The U.S. Supreme Court then denied Domingues’ writ without opinion.

Pennsylvania

JLWOP post-Graham

Commonwealth v. Ligon (2010)
Defendant Ligon challenges his mandatory sentence of life without parole under the Federal and Pennsylvania constitutions in light of Graham v. Florida. Ligon was convicted of two counts of first degree murder for a crime that he committed when he was 15.

Commonwealth v. Brabham (2010)
Defendant Brabham challenges his mandatory sentence of life without parole under the Federal and Pennsylvania constitutions. Brabham was convicted of second degree felony murder for a crime that he committed when he was 16.

Commonwealth v. Batts (2009)(argued before Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Dec. 2010)
Defendant Batts challenges his sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions. Batts was convicted of first degree murder for a crime he committed when he was 14 years old.

JLWOP

Commonwealth v. Batzig (JLWOP) (2008)
Defendant Batzig challenges his sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under the Federal and Pennsylvania constitutions. Batzig was convicted of first-degree murder for a crime committed at age 16.