Posts tagged "1020313"

Commonwealth v. Brown (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-203-13)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;     SJC‑11454   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MARQUISE BROWN. Middlesex.     September 4, 2013.  ‑  December 24, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.   Constitutional Law, Sentence, Cruel and unusual punishment, Parole, Severability.  Due Process of Law, Sentence, Parole.  Parole.  Homicide.  Practice, Criminal, Sentence, Parole, Capital case.  Statute, Severability.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on December 6, 2012.   The case was reported by Botsford, J.     Michael A. Kaneb, Assistant District Attorney (Christopher M. Tarrant & Robert J. Bender, Assistant District Attorneys, with him) for the Commonwealth. Barbara Kaban, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the defendant. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Marsha L. Levick, Emily C. Keller, & Lauren A. Fine, of Pennsylvania, for Juvenile Law Center & others. Timothy J. Cruz, District Attorney, & Robert C. Thompson, Assistant District Attorney, for District Attorney for the Plymouth District. David J. Apfel & Kunal Pasricha for American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts & others. Kenneth J. Parsigian, Steven J. Pacini, & Amy E. Feinman for Citizens for Juvenile Justice & others. John J. Barter for Herby J. Caillot.       SPINA, J.  This case is before us on a reservation and report from a single justice.  We must determine the effect of the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455 (2012), on the sentencing of juvenile defendants convicted of murder in the first degree under G. L. c. 265, § 1.  In Miller, the Supreme Court held that the mandatory imposition of life-without-parole sentences on homicide offenders who were juveniles at the time of their crimes violates the bar against cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Miller, 132 S. Ct. at 2469.  Additionally, we held today in Commonwealth v. Diatchenko, ante at   ,   (2013), that all life-without-parole sentences for juvenile offenders, whether mandatory or discretionary, violate art. 26 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.  We now hold that Brown is entitled to the benefit of Miller and Diatchenko and that he may not be sentenced to life without parole.  He may only be sentenced to the lesser punishment under G. L. c. 265, § 2, of mandatory life in prison with the possibility of parole set pursuant to the parole eligibility statute in effect at the […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

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