NO. 2018 KW 0715
In Re: Tracy Walker, applying for supervisory writs, 21st Judicial District Court, Parish of Tangipahoa, No. 91855. BEFORE: GUIDRY, THERIOT, AND PENZATO, JJ.
Guidry, J., concurs. Louisiana's second degree murder statute (La. R.S. 14:30.1) was not declared unconstitutional in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012). In Miller, the United States Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment forbids a sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without possibility of parole for juvenile offenders. See Miller, 567 U.S. at 479, 132 S.Ct. at 2469. The starting premise for the ruling in Miller was the principle established in Roper and Graham that "children are constitutionally different from adults for purposes of sentencing." See Miller, 567 U.S. at 471, 132 S.Ct. at 2464. Accordingly, the ruling in Miller, which applies retroactively, only applies to defendants who are under the age of eighteen at the time they committed first or second degree murder, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30 and La. R.S 14:30.1. See La. Code Crim. P. art. 878.1; Montgomery v. Louisiana, 577 U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct. 718, 193 L.Ed.2d 599 (2016). Furthermore, the sole purpose of a Miller hearing is to determine whether the juvenile offender's sentence shall be imposed with or without parole eligibility. See La. Code Crim. P. art. 878.1(D) (amended by 2017 La. Acts No. 239, § 2; effective 8/1/17); Montgomery, 577 U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct. at 736. COURT OF APPEAL, FIRST CIRCUIT /s/_________
DEPUTY CLERK OF COURT
FOR THE COURT