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Mass SJC Hears Juvenile Resentencing Cases

On September 4th, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard oral testimony from two cases that will clarify whether the Supreme Court’s Miller v. Alabama decision should be retroactively applied to all cases of juveniles sentenced to life without parole in Massachusetts. You can watch the testimony from the two cases here and here.

The opinion of the Court, to be released in December 2013, will likely determine if Joe and others sentenced as juveniles to life without parole in Massachusetts are entitled to so-called “Miller Hearings” where sentences could be amended. These hearings could possibly provide opportunities for judges to consider the circumstances of the crime, subsequent sentencing and the fact that at the time of conviction the juvenile had “diminished culpability and heightened capacity for change.”

The opinion of the court will very likely influence Joe Donovan’s future and the path his legal team will navigate to ensure his release.