Student Scholarship: State v. Eric Long

Update: on March 12, 2014, the Supreme Court handed down a merit decision in this case.  read the analysis here.

On June 11, 2013, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of State of Ohio v. Eric Long, 2012-1410. At issue in this case is whether, if not mandatory, the state can impose a sentence of life without parole on a juvenile homicide offender after the United States Supreme Court decision in Miller v. Alabama, and, if so, how trial courts are to consider youth as part of the sentencing process. In 2012, in Miller, the U.S. Supreme Court held that imposing a mandatory sentence of life without parole on a juvenile is cruel and unusual punishment and thereby violates the Eighth Amendment.  In Long, a life sentence was not mandatory.

2L Cameron Downer, who is both an associate member of the Law Review at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and a Student Contributor to this blog (he was the student contributor to the oral argument preview of the Long case, which you can read here) has now written a law review blog post on the Long  case called “The Science Behind Juvenile Life without Parole: Why the Supreme Court of Ohio Should Find the Sentence Unconstitutional.” Cam discusses the science of the developing adolescent brain to argue that the imposition of a sentence of life without the possibility of parole on a juvenile offender constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

You can also read the analysis of the oral argument in the Long case here.

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