Johnson v. Idaho

Pre-Miller, Sarah Johnson was sentenced life without parole for crimes she allegedly committed as a juvenile. Rather than resentencing Ms. Johnson using the guidelines and considerations set forth in Miller, the sentencing court relied on her previous sentencing hearing, deeming it sufficient because it acknowledged her youth.

Juvenile Law Center and The Children and Family Justice Center filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Ms. Johnson’s petition for certiorari. Our brief argued that Ms. Johnson’s pre-Miller hearing cannot take the place of a resentencing hearing as contemplated by Miller because it failed to appropriately consider youth and its attendant characteristics and because it established a presumption in favor of life without parole rather than a presumption against life without parole. We urged the Court to grant certiorari in order to protect the integrity of the its decisions in Miller and Montgomery.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari.