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March 1, 2017
Is anyone tracking comprehensively data on resentencings (and release and recidivism) of those aided by Graham and Miller?
The question in the title of the post was recently posed to me, and I did not have a good answer. But this seems like a timely question now that it has been nearly a full seven years since Graham v. Florida declared LWOP unconstitutional for juvenile non-homicide offenders and five years since Miller v. Alabama declared mandatory LWOP unconstitutional for juvenile homicide offenders. (Of course, it has only been a year since SCOTUS in Montgomery v. Louisiana declared Miller fully retroactive and thereby required a number of states to start dealing with Miller's impact on prior offenders.)
I know that the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth a few months ago produced this publication about legal reforms in the wake of Graham and Miller under the title "Righting Wrongs: The Five-Year Groundswell of State Bans on Life Without Parole for Children." But that report has more stories than numbers. Similarly, two 2015 reports from the public interest firm Phillip Black, titled "Juvenile Life Without Parole After Miller" and "No Hope: Re-examining Lifetime Sentences for Juvenile Offenders," look mainly at state litigation and legislative responses to Graham and Miller. The Fair Punishment Project has also done some significant work on juve LWOP, including some notable locality-specific analysis of post-Miller litigation, but I do not see any comprehensive or detailed data runs on its site. The Juvenile Law Center, which has played an integral role in a lot of post-Miller state-court litigation, helped produced this thoughtful and detailed report on the import and impact of Graham and Miller under the title "The Supreme Court and the Transformation of Juvenile Sentencing." But that report, which is already nearly two years old, also lacks any detailed empirics.
I have seen estimates of the population of juve LWOPers with sentences impacted by Graham and Miller to be around 2500, and I am hopeful and somewhat confident that someone somewhere is at least trying to track comprehensively data on how this population is being resentenced. But I have not yet seen such data published, and perhaps I am wrong to assume that it is being systematically collected.
March 1, 2017 at 02:28 PM | Permalink
Expect a new report from The Sentencing Project in the coming weeks with an estimate....
Posted by: ashley nellis | Mar 2, 2017 9:30:57 AM