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 the sentence imposed was a de facto life sentence, which Miller prohibits. The Court held that the sentence did not violate Miller, even if it amounted to a de facto life sentence. With heavy reliance on Jones v. Mississippi, the Court ruled that the sentencing scheme must only guarantee the juvenile offender “a sentencing procedure in which the sentencer must weigh youth as a mitigating factor.” Here, that was done. Thus, the Court affirmed the sentence.

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