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Michigan Judge Strikes Down Intolerable Miscarriage of Justice

February 7, 2013
Benjamin Chambers

juvenile-life-without-parole_U.S.-supreme-courtOn Wednesday, Jan. 30, a federal judge in Michigan, John Corbett O'Meara, struck down a state law that denied parole to individuals sentenced to die in prison for crimes they committed as juveniles.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles in Miller v. Alabama. Last fall, a Michigan state appeals court determined that Miller would apply almost exclusively to future cases, leaving most of the 356 individuals sentenced under the law no hope of parole.   

According to The Detroit News, O'Meara said that, "as a matter of law and morality," Miller should be retroactive. "To hold otherwise," he said, "would allow the state to impose unconstitutional punishment on some persons but not others, an intolerable miscarriage of justice." 

   

Photo: Scott Lenger, under Creative Commons license.

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