United States v. Grant

Juvenile Law Center filed an amicus brief on rehearing en banc in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on behalf of Corey Grant, who was sentenced to 65 years in prison for murders committed before age 17. Juvenile Law Center’s brief argued that a 65-year sentence does not provide a meaningful opportunity for release based upon demonstrated rehabilitation and maturity as required by United States Supreme Court jurisprudence. We further argued that young offenders’ distinct capacity for rehabilitation forecloses de facto life sentences and that age and the possibility of fulfillment outside prison walls, not life expectancy, determine whether a sentence provides a meaningful opportunity for release.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that Grant’s lengthy sentence does not violate Miller v. Alabama, even if it amounts to a de facto life sentence, as Miller only entitles youth to a discretionary sentencing process, not a particular sentencing outcome.