Editor's Note :

Editor's Note :

On Wednesday the court hears oral argument in Sandoz Inc. v. Amgen Inc. John Duffy has our preview.
On Wednesday the court also hears oral argument in Maslenjak v. United States. Amy Howe has our preview.

Breaking News :

Breaking News :

Miller v. Alabama

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Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
10-9646 Ala. Ct. Crim. App. Mar 20, 2012
Tr.
Jun 25, 2012 5-4 Kagan OT 2011
 
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Holding: The Eighth Amendment prohibits a sentencing scheme that requires life in prison without the possibility of parole for juvenile homicide offenders.

Plain English Summary: In a series of decisions dating back to 1988, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that youths under age 18 who commit crimes must not necessarily get as severe a punishment as adults who committed the same kind of crimes. Among other rulings, the Court has forbidden the death penalty for minors who commit murders, and it has barred a sentence of life in prison without a chance of release for minors who commit crimes in which the victim is not killed. In this new ruling, the Court avoiding imposing such a flat ban on life without parole for a minor who commits murder, but it did rule out such a sentence as a mandatory requirement in all such cases. It said, though, that it does not expect very many youths under age 18 to get such a sentence that essentially would require them to stay in prison until they die.

Judgment: Reversed and remanded, 5-4, in an opinion by Justice Kagan on June 25, 2012. Justice Breyer filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Sotomayor joined. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito joined. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA, J., joined. Justice Alito, filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Scalia joined.

SCOTUSblog Coverage

Briefs and Documents

Merits Briefs for the Petitioner
  • Brief for Evan Miller
  • Reply Brief for Evan Miller
Amicus Briefs in Support of the Petitioner Merits Briefs for the Respondent Amicus Briefs in Support of the Respondents
  • Brief for Michigan et al.
  • Brief for National District Attorneys Association
  • Brief for the National Organization of Victims of Juvenile Lifers
Certiorari-stage Documents
Term Snapshot
Awards