The United States Supreme Court ruled in Montgomery v. Louisiana that constitutional protection, which prohibits the sentencing of life in prison without possibility parole for juvenile offenders, is to be retroactively applied in all cases. That means individuals who were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole as a juvenile, will now be able to challenge their sentence and file for post-conviction relief in Washington State.
How This Came About
Two years ago the U.S. Supreme Court announced the Eighth Amendment protects against sentencing juvenile offenders to life in prison without the possibility for parole, in Miller v. Alabama. In part, the Court reasoned that an offender’s age is relevant in the Eighth Amendment analysis. When sentencing a juvenile to life without the possibility of parole, the sentencing is so rigid there is not an opportunity to take age into account. Going forward, juveniles could not be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.