White v. Premo
Laycelle and Lydell White were sentenced to lengthy term-of-years sentences for crimes committed as juveniles. Because they are not eligible for parole for over 60 years, their sentences effectively foreclose any meaningful opportunity for release.
Juvenile Law Center joined Lewis & Clark Law School's Criminal Justice Reform Clinic, Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Oregon Justice Resource Center, and Phillips Black, Inc. on an amicus brief filed in the Oregon Supreme Court on behalf of Laycelle and Lydell. Our brief argued that the Eighth Amendment's protections apply with equal force to children who are serving lengthy term-of-years sentences and were convicted of multiple offenses. We further argued that such de facto life without parole sentences trigger Miller’s substantive protections.
The Oregon Supreme Court ruled in favor of Laycelle and Lydell, holding that regardless of the "heinous" nature of the crimes, a juvenile cannot be sentenced to a de facto life sentence without a "determination that [the youth] is one of the rare juvenile offenders whose crimes demonstrate irreparable corruption."