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Miller v. Alabama

United States Supreme Court
567 U.S. 460 (2012)



This case involves two criminal defendants. In November 1999, 14-year-old Kuntrell Jackson (defendant) and two other boys robbed a video store. During the robbery, one of the other boys shot the store clerk. Jackson was tried as an adult, as permitted under Arkansas law. A jury convicted Jackson of capital felony murder and aggravated robbery. Because the verdict only allowed for life without possibility of parole, the judge sentenced Jackson accordingly. The judge did not consider that Jackson did not shoot the clerk or that he had family members who had previously shot others. Evan Miller (defendant) was also 14 years old when he killed his neighbor while high after he beat the neighbor in the neighbor’s trailer and set fire to it. Miller was tried as an adult for murder in the course of arson. The mandatory minimum for that crime is life without parole under Alabama law. The sentencer did not consider that Miller had previously been abused by his stepfather and neglected by his mother, or that he had attempted suicide four times.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kagan, J.)

Dissent (Roberts, C.J.)

Dissent (Thomas, J.)

Dissent (Alito, J.)

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