State v. Scott

Jai’mar Scott was sentenced to 75 years in prison for a murder committed when he was 17 years old. Although a juvenile at the time of the crime, Mr. Scott received a sentence which was almost three times longer than the standard sentencing range for an adult who committed the same crime.

Post-Miller, Scott filed a motion requesting that his unconstitutional sentence be vacated and he be re-sentenced in compliance with Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012). The trial court granted his motion, but upon the State’s appeal, the court of appeals reversed, holding that Miller was not material to Scott’s unconstitutional sentence because a new Washington statute (RCW 9.94A.730) now allows Scott the opportunity to petition a sentencing review board for early release.

Juvenile Law Center joined with the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and other amici to file an amicus brief in the Washington Supreme Court on behalf of Mr. Scott. Amici argued that Washington’s statute does not eliminate the need for Scott to obtain a re-sentencing that remedies his unconstitutional sentence.