- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
- Date Filed: 08-12-2020
- Case #: A165761
- Judge(s)/Court Below: DeVore, Presiding Judge, and DeHoog, Judge, and Mooney, Judge
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief. On appeal, Petitioner argued that a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 25 years was unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Petitioner asserted that, under Miller v. Alabama, for a life sentence to be constitutionally imposed on a juvenile, the court at sentencing must consider how the juvenile is different from an adult and how those differences mitigate sentencing them to life in prison. Miller, 567 US 460 (2012). In response, the superintendent argues that because petitioner’s sentence provides the possibility of parole after 25 years, it is not a true life sentence and therefore does not violate the Eighth Amendment. The possibility of a murder review hearing by the parole board [...] years in the future is not a constitutionally adequate substitute for the consideration of youth at the time of sentencing. State v. Link, 27 Or App 126, 158 (2019). The Court found that at the time of petitioner’s offense, he was automatically tried as an adult, the trial court did not consider petitioner's youth at the time, and petitioner received a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Thus, the court held that petitioner’s conviction was impermissible under the Eighth Amendment. Reversed and remanded.