Valencia v. Arizona
Gregory Valencia was sentenced to life without parole for a death resulting from a confrontation following an attempt to steal a bicycle along with another teenager shortly after his seventeenth birthday. In a separate case, Joey Healer was sentenced to life without parole for a felony murder committed when he was 16.
Juvenile Law Center filed an amicus brief in support of a joint petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Mr. Valencia and Mr. Healer. Our brief argued that Arizona's post-conviction evidentiary hearing is an inappropriate prerequisite to re-sentencing juvenile lifers because it places the burden on the defendant to demonstrate eligibility for a re-sentencing hearing and is in conflict with prior U.S. Supreme Court precedent and fundamental principles of due process as articulated in Miller and Montgomery.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari.