In re Brooks

Carl Brooks, a Black man, is currently serving a 90-year minimum prison term for crimes committed when he was a youth, and will not be eligible for release until he is 105 years old, effectively denying Mr. Brooks any “meaningful opportunity for release” as mandated by Miller v. Alabama and enforced through Washington’s “Miller fix” statute.
Juvenile Law Center joined the ACLU of Washington and other advocates on an amicus brief filed in the Washington Supreme Court in support of Mr. Brooks, urging the court to hold that the Miller fix statue applies to Mr. Brooks’s de facto life sentence. Amici argued that Mr. Brooks’s sentence is disproportionate and unconstitutional under the both the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 14 of the Washington Constitution and must be considered in the context of severe race disproportionality among those serving lengthy sentences and life sentences.

In a win for youth, the Washington Supreme Court found that the Miller fix statute does apply to Mr. Brooks, and that he must be provided with a hearing that presumes his release.