State v. Aston

New Decision

Joshua Aston was sentenced to life without parole for an offense committed when he was sixteen. 

Juvenile Law Center joined Arizona Justice Project and law firm Coppersmith Brockelman in filing an amicus brief in the Arizona Court of Appeals in support of Mr. Aston. The brief argued that his sentence is unconstitutional under Miller v. Alabama, as he could not have been sentenced to anything less severe than life without parole. The brief further argued that the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Jones v. Mississippi does not affect the unconstitutionality of Mr. Aston’s natural life sentence under Miller and does not reflect a change in controlling law. 

The Arizona Court of Appeals denied review for procedural reasons, finding that Mr. Aston’s petition for review of his post-conviction relief proceedings was not the proper avenue to seek relief, and noting his ability to seek review by direct appeal instead.