The Supreme Court agreed Monday to deliberate, in its next term starting in October, the case of a teenager who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his grandfather, in a matter that could have implications for lighter punishments for juvenile criminals.
In 2004, Brett Jones, then 15, stabbed his grandfather after the two got in a fight over the older man catching Jones’ girlfriend in his bedroom, reports The Washington Times . A jury sentenced Jones to his life sentence, which he has appealed on claims he has improved both his mental health and behavior and upon claims of being raised in an abusive household.
Lower courts ruled against the appeal, but his lawyers say there is a division concerning whether the 8th Amendment, against cruel and unusual punishment, would require that a court must find a teenager incorrigible before imposing a sentence of life without parole.
The case is expected to be heard during the court’s next term, which will run between October and June 2021.
The court was also set to rule this year on the case of D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo, who argues he was only 17 during the 2002 shootings that killed 10 people. His accomplice, John Allen Muhammad, was executed by lethal injection in 2009.
Malvo’s case was dismissed , however, after Virginia changed its law to allow juveniles to be eligible for parole after serving 20 years of a life sentence.
Malvo’s appeal was based on a high court ruling in 2012 that […]