Graham v. Florida, 130 S.Ct. 2011 (2010) 8th Amendment; LWOP; non-homicide J. Kennedy opinion. State cannot sentence juvenile offenders who committed nonhomicide crimes to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole (LWOP). State must give defendants “some meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.” (Id. at 2030).
Michael T. Freeman, Meaningless Opportunities: Graham v. Florida and the Reality of de Facto LWOP Sentences, 44 McGeorge L. Rev. 961 (2013) De facto LWOP sentences for juveniles who commit nonhomicide offenses categorically violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. “de facto LWOP sentence” as term-of-years sentence that serves as the “functional equivalent of a life without parole term.” (Id. At 963)
California v. Mendez, 114 Cal.Rptr.3d 870 (Ct. App., 2d Dist. 2010) De facto LWOP Discusses Mendez’s lengthy sentence. Mendez had not received a LWOP sentence but argued that lengthy sentence was de facto LWOP
California v. Nuñez, 125 Cal. Rptr.3d 616 (Ct. App., 3d Dist. 2011) De facto LWOP Invalidated 175-year-long sentence for juvenile who committed aggravated kidnapping.
California v. Caballero, 282 P.3d 291 (Cal. 2012) De facto LWOP De facto LWOP sentences for juvenile nonhomicide offenders violate the Eight Amendment.
California v. J.I.A., 127 Cal. Rptr.3d 141 (Ct. App. 4th Dist. 2011) De facto LWOP Fifty-years-to-life sentence for fourteen-year-old defendant is cruel and unusual punishment because the defendant is ineligible for parole until age of seventy.
California v. Ramirez, 123 Cal. Rptr.3d 155 (Ct. App. 2d Dist. 2011) Contra authority
Strong dissent. Sentence of 120 years to life for a juvenile defendant who committed attempted murder was constitutional. But see id. at 166-71 (Manella, J., dissenting) – Graham applies and defendant’s sentence is unconstitutional.