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JLWOP Murder Cases Relisted

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John Elwood's relist watch notes two cases of 14-year-olds sentenced to life without parole for murder:  Miller v. Alabama, 10-9646, and Jackson v. Hobbs, 10-9647.

In Miller, according to the Court of Criminal Appeals:

The evidence presented at trial established that in July 2003, then 14-year-old Evan Miller and his 16-year-old codefendant, Colby Smith, robbed and savagely beat Miller's neighbor, Cole Cannon. After beating Cannon to the point that he could not get off the floor, Miller set Cannon's trailer on fire. Cannon's body was later discovered by firefighters, who were called to extinguish the fire.
The facts of Jackson are not described in the majority opinion.  The dissent paints Jackson as a relatively minor accomplice in a robbery-murder.  A concurring justice laments that fact that the state has no mechanism for considering mitigating circumstances and calls on the General Assembly to create one.

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Did Evan Miller lift a finger to save the victim?

Accomplice liability is a great way to ensure that accomplices act as a check on the actions of their cohorts. And if that results in 14 yo kids getting LWOP for murder, so be it.

Once again, I have to ask the question--why do these cases have to be decided now. Why can't the Court take a wait and see approach? Let's say Miller is in jail for 30 years--let him make his claim then.

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