Argued that Petitioner's sentence is the equivalent of life without parole because Missouri law requires him to serve a minimum of 92 years before becoming parole-eligible. This sentence therefore violates the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Graham v. Florida, which held that juvenile offenders cannot be sentenced to life for non-homicide offenses without a meaningful and realistic opportunity for re-entry into society prior to the expiration of their sentence.
Brought a Section 1983 civil rights damage action on behalf of a foster youth who had been in foster care for three and a half years without any judicial review and without the provision of services to help him return home to his family by the county child welfare agency.
Argued that Petitioner Bunch's sentence is unconstitutional pursuant to the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Graham v. Florida, which held that juvenile offenders cannot be sentenced to life without parole without a meaningful and realistic opportunity to re-enter society prior to the expiration of their sentences for non-homicide offenses.
Argued that Massachusetts' sentencing scheme for juveniles 14 and older convicted of first degree murder is unconstitutional under Miller v. Alabama and that the Massachusetts Supreme Court must look to existing statutes to determine what constitutional sentence may be imposed.
Juvenile Law Center’s brief argues that the mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole imposed on a 16-year-old is a disproportionate punishment under the U.S. and Massachusetts Constitutions.