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110-life = LWOP for Graham

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For a juvenile convicted of multiple grave offenses but not a (successful) homicide, a sentence of 110 years to life is a de facto life-without-parole sentence for the purpose of applying Graham v. Florida, the California Supreme Court decided today in People v. Caballero, No. S190647.

Actually, that was the easy part.  Now what exactly should the courts do about it?

Cal. Supreme's answer:  punt it to the trial court.

Under Graham‟s nonhomicide ruling, the sentencing court must consider all mitigating circumstances attendant in the juvenile's crime and life, including but not limited to his or her chronological age at the time of the crime, whether the juvenile offender was a direct perpetrator or an aider and abettor, and his or her physical and mental development, so that it can impose a time when the juvenile offender will be able to seek parole from the parole board. The Board of Parole Hearings will then determine whether the juvenile offender must be released from prison "based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation." ... Because every case will be different, we will not provide trial courts with a precise time frame for setting these future parole hearings in a nonhomicide case. However, the sentence must not violate the defendant‟s Eighth Amendment rights and must provide him or her a "meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation" under Graham‟s mandate.
In my view, this approach provides way too much latitude for the trial judge, inevitably resulting in a situation where a defendant's sentence depends as much on which judge he gets as it does on what he did.  We are forgetting history and repeating it.

1 Comment

At the age of 17 years old to commit a first degree murder, should the mind with in time at the age 40, that man should be given another chance for board have a release...with a newmind..should he been remorse and repentance, what else would it be but ask for rehablition...am I right...what more can be said, except the time of youth with conviction and as a frown man now, a change heart.

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