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January 25, 2018

Might some members of SCOTUS want to take up juve sentencing case to limit reach of Graham and Miller?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this little news item from Wyoming headlined "Wyo asks US Supreme Court to review juvenile murder sentence." Here are the basics:

Wyoming is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Wyoming Supreme Court decision to overturn a minimum 52-year prison sentence for a teen who, as a juvenile, shot and killed a man and injured several others in a Cheyenne park in 2014.

Last August, the Wyoming Supreme Court ordered Phillip Sam re-sentenced, saying his minimum 25-year sentence for first-degree murder followed by a 27-year sentence for aggravated assault effectively constituted a life sentence....

Attorney General Peter Michael argued in his Jan. 4 petition that the practical effect of the state Supreme Court order would be that juveniles could commit additional crimes without additional punishment.

I blogged here about the notable opinion handed down by the Supreme Court of Wyoming in Sam v. Wyoming, No. S-16-0168 (Wy. Aug. 24, 2017) (available here).  I know there have been a lot of opinions from juve offenders looking to extend the reach of Graham and Miller, none of which have yet been granted. I am not sure if there have been many state appeals on Graham and Miller, and I am also not sure if there might be some Justices eager to wade into this arena.

UPDATE:  Coincidentally, SCOTUSblog here has Wyoming v. Sam as its "Petition of the Day."  The full petition sets forth this sole Question Presented:

When a juvenile is sentenced for murder and other violent crimes, does the Eighth Amendment limit a judge to an aggregate term of years that allows a meaningful opportunity for release even though none of the separate sentences are cruel and unusual?

January 25, 2018 at 04:14 PM | Permalink


Did everyone see how Obama got a picture taken with Farrakhan?

Ha ha. DJT, by comparison, is far more moral than Barack "Musa Ali Daqduq"Obama.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 25, 2018 9:29:28 PM

ah, partisan federalist is back trying, yet again, to make the case for Trump's moral standing. I do not want to descend too far into this silliness, but just wish to remind you that not long ago you and Tarls thought it horrific that I suggested you might engage with alt-right websites. But after Prez Trump stocked his White House with alt-right figures, you now think a 2005 pic of Obama with Farrakhan somehow proves Trump a moral figure by comparison. This is how hard-core partisans see matters, but not how anyone else seems to. I now look forward to hearing your account of how Trump's eagerness to fire Mueller is still further proof Obama was born in Kenya. But please send me your latest Deep State theories by email rather than pollute this space with off-topic partisan blatherskite.

Posted by: Doug B. | Jan 26, 2018 1:05:14 AM

The Court denied the state's petition in OH v. Moore, a JLWOP case. http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/ohio-v-moore/

Posted by: John | Jan 26, 2018 3:33:22 AM

Ha ha, Doug.

It's not just the picture. Musa Ali Daqduq, Bergdahl, nominating Holder, Benghazi and the list goes on and on. Let's not forget AIG either--trying to screw people who had done no wrong out of their bonuses.

DJT is slimy and sleazy--but Obama is lower.

Mueller should be fired---for oh so many reasons. This whole collusion thing is such BS. It didn't happen.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 26, 2018 7:35:07 AM

John, I should have remembered Moore, although that was just a "Graham case" and the stacked sentences were far longer than this Sam case.

partisan federalist, you have long made clear your personal moral compass points away from Obama and toward Trump, but that still leaves me confused why you claimed to be so put off by a prior alt-right reference. I suspect many more folks in the alt-right sphere would embrace your Trump/Obama moral accounting than anywhere else.

Posted by: Doug B | Jan 26, 2018 9:21:45 AM

Doug, you used alt-right in a pejorative way. That's why.

I don't think it's partisan to point out that a politician caught taking a smiling photograph with an unrepentant and vocal racist lunatic shows a distinct lack of morality.

And when you stop blaming Lindsey Graham for the release of Musa Ali Daqduq, I'll take seriously your assessments of partisanship.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 26, 2018 7:51:50 PM

Pointing out a picture is not partisan, federalist, but using it to make the case for Trump's moral standing is. So too is distorting comments to assert I "blame" Graham for Daqduq's release. My point has been that Graham apparently blocked one way the Obama Admin sought to bring Daqduq to justice --- and that anyone troubled by the handling of his case should consider the roles of all those involved. But a partisan like you looks only to assail one side and explain away the actions of the other side.

That is your classic MO, partisan federalist, assailing all that Dems do while forgiving GOP. A comical example was when you attacked Dems who said nice things about Ted Kennedy when he died, and then excused all comparable GOP statements as necessary political niceness.

Please understand, federalist, I call you partisan as a description, not an insult. Same for my off-handed long-ago prior alt-right reference that seemed to cause you and Tarls the vapors. I try to make my descriptions accurate, but I welcome any and all accounts of errors.

Posted by: Doug B | Jan 27, 2018 1:10:57 PM

There's nothing to "forgive"--Lindsey Graham had a very good reason to oppose the idea of binging Daqduq to the USA--so how is opposing a bad idea when there were other options a contributor to Obama's blameworthiness for releasing Daqduq? The answer is that you just want to defend the soft of Farrakhan Senator from Illinois.

And by the way, Graham had no power to block bringing Daqduq to the USA. You're being a weak apologist. My position on Trump hasn't really changed--he's sleazy. But his sleaziness pales in comparison to the soft on Farrakhan slime ball who will speak in terms of a "sacred duty" between Commander in Chief when it comes to trading terrorists for scum like Bergdahl after having released a terrorist murderer of American servicemen.

As for the GOP and Kennedy---Kennedy was a Democrat--the Democrats gave him support and power/ It's obviously stomach turning that some GOP felt the need to praise this traitorous scum, but Kennedy is a mark on Democrats, not the GOP.

If you can't see that, then I don't know what to tell you.

Even Joe doesn't stoop to defend Daqduq release or try to pawn off responsibility onto Lindsey Graham.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 28, 2018 11:45:03 AM

your rhetoric, partisan federalist, has as its main virtue is partisan consistency and predictability. When you set up your own blog to make your case for Prez Trump bringing moral virtue back to the White House, we can perhaps continue this discourse on matters far removed from sentencing. In this space, I prefer to focus on sentencing.

Posted by: Doug B | Jan 28, 2018 6:48:06 PM

Ha ha. You;ve changed your tune--now you want to rekindle the debate on Trump v. Obama morality?

Posted by: federalist | Jan 3, 2023 3:27:01 PM

You are responding, federalist, to a five-year old post. Strange.

Posted by: Doug B. | Jan 3, 2023 5:31:12 PM

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