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California Miller v. Alabama Developments

The heading of this post might be a bit surprising to some, since the Miller decision by its terms does not affect jurisdictions with discretionary sentencing of juveniles to life-without-parole for murder.  Indeed, footnote 10 of the Miller opinion expressly lists California Penal Code ยง 190.5(b) as one of the discretionary statutes that are fundamentally different from the mandatory scheme declared unconstitutional.

However, on October 12, a California Court of Appeal panel decided in People v. Moffett, A133032 that Miller does change California's system.  See prior post

Then on October 29, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated a California decision and remanded it to a different California Court of Appeal to reconsider in light of Miller.  The case is Mauricio v. California, No. 11-10139.  The correct answer upon reconsideration would be, "Huh? You expressly said Miller was about mandatory sentencing systems, and ours isn't one.  There is nothing to reconsider."  Lyle Denniston has this post at SCOTUSblog.

We hear through the grapevine that the Cal. AG will petition Cal. Supreme for review in the Moffett case.  The state high court should probably transfer the Mauricio case to itself as well.

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