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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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United States v. Grant

An en banc panel of the Third Circuit offered its view in the Miller/Montgomery maelstrom. The defendant was convicted of homicide as a juvenile in federal court and was sentenced to the then-mandatory life without the possibility of parole. At resentencing, the defendant received a 65-year sentence. The defendant appealed, claiming that…

United States v. Grant
3rd Circuit

An en banc panel of the Third Circuit offered its view in the Miller/Montgomery maelstrom. The defendant was convicted of homicide as a juvenile in federal court and was sentenced to the then-mandatory life without the possibility of parole. At resentencing, the defendant received a 65-year sentence. The defendant appealed, claiming that the sentence imposed was a de… Continue reading United States v. Grant

Commonwealth v. Sanchez-Frometa
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Commonwealth v., Sanchez-Frometa, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the Pennsylvania Crimes Code does not authorize a court to impose a sentence of life without the possibility of parole on a juvenile offender for murder in the second degree.

Commonwealth v. Summers
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Commonwealth v. Summers, Appellant was serving a sentence of life without parole for his participation in a felony murder when he was 17 years old. He filed a PCRA petition, alleging his sentence was illegal. Pursuant to Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), the trial court resentenced Appellant to a term of imprisonment… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Summers

In State v. Tormasi, the New Jersey Appellate Division weighed in on the legality of sentencing a 16-year-old defendant to a term of life imprisonment with parole eligibility after 30 years. The defendant claimed he was entitled to resentencing under State v. Zuber, 227 N.J. 422 (2017), and Article I, Paragraph 12, of the New… Continue reading State v. Tormasi

Commonwealth v. Lehman
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

This case involved two juvenile lifers who were recently resentenced to a term of life with the possibility of parole. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Lehman did not address whether those sentences were proper. Instead, the issue was costs. At the resentencing hearings, the Commonwealth called expert witnesses. In one of the consolidated… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Lehman

Commonwealth v. Derrickson
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In Commonwealth v. Derrickson, the Pennsylvania Superior Court addressed claims made by a juvenile who had been serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. After he was re-sentenced to 30-years-to-life, Derrickson appealed. Among his novel arguments were: (1) that a mandatory life sentence — even with the possibility of parole — was cruel… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Derrickson