Brief filed: 07/07/2018
United States v. Briones
9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. Case No. 16-10150
890 F.3d 811 (9th Cir. May 16, 2018)
Miller provides categorical protection not merely a procedural requirement to consider youth. The District Court erroneously considered juvenile status as a mitigating factor rather than a categorical protection. The District Court further misapplied Miller by overlooking the central role of rehabilitation in juvenile sentencing. Congress has not provided a legal punishment for the crime of conviction. No legal, authorized punishment exists for juveniles charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1111. Briones was convicted under a statute that is unconstitutional as applied to juveniles. Sixth Amendment protections extend to whether a defendant is irreparably corrupt. A finding of irreparable corruption increases a juvenile defendant’s potential sentence and is similar to other factual findings that receive Sixth Amendment protections. Briones did not receive the required Sixth Amendment protections.
John R. Mills and Scott P. Wallace, Phillips Black Inc., San Francisco, CA; Robin E. Wechkin, Sidley Austin LLP, Seattle, WA; Ronald Sullivan, Fair Punishment Project, Cambridge, MA