Hi! Did you know your browser is outdated? For a more robust web experience we recommend using Safari, Firefox, Chrome or Opera.
Legalpalooza056_thumb
Second Annual Legalpalooza! Introduces Students to Career Options and PractitionersStory
Serra Falk Goldman2_trustee_thumb
USF Trustees Welcome New MembersStory
SuperLawyers 2014 event_181_thumb
318 USF Alumni Named 2014 Super LawyersStory
John Latino Educator award_thumb
Dean Honored With 2014 SF Latino Heritage AwardStory
Brand and Phair_thumb
Inaugural Brand Pursuit of Justice Fellow Heads to ThailandStory
Clinic win by Katie Finch
Criminal and Juvenile Justice Law Clinic Student’s Investigation Helps Exonerate ClientStory
Cometria Cooper_thumb
Cometria Cooper Named One of National Bar Association’s Top Trailblazers Under 40Story
IAP 2014 thumb
Students Hone Trial Advocacy Skills in Intensive ProgramStory

State-By-State Legal Resource Guide

This guide provides information about certain key laws related to the sentencing of juveniles to life without the possibility of parole.

It provides statistics, such as the number of people serving a JLWOP sentence, and references to the relevant statutes on transfer of juveniles to adult court and imposition of the JLWOP sentence.The guide identifies whether the sentence is discretionary or mandatory.

Alabama

Murder is a capital offense

§13A-4-40

§13A-6-2(c)

Mandatory life without parole for juveniles over the age of 14 for certain crimes who have been moved to adult criminal court at the discretion of the prosecutor and after a transfer hearing.

Cap.=LWoP or death penalty

§13A-5-6(a)(1)

Prosecutorial discretion to transfer juvenile over the age of 14 to circuit or district court, hearing required.

§12-15-34

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 62
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 2

Alaska

Mandatory 99-year sentence for certain enumerated crimes.

§12.55.125(a)

Juvenile Life Without Parole is Prohibited

Discretionary 99-year sentence for murder outside of those enumerated in (a).

§12.55.125(h)

∆ sentenced to mandatory 99-years under (a) can appeal 1 for sentence modification or reduction after serving ½

§12.55.125(j)

-Juveniles serving JLWOP: 0
-Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Arizona

  • Discretionary JLWOP for juveniles under the age of 18 who are convicted of first degree murder.

    §13-752(A)

    Discretionary JLWOP for juveniles over the age of 14 convicted of first-degree murder and other enumerated felonies.

     

    Pursuant to §13-751 seems that the sentence depends largely on the age of the victim at the time they were murdered (under 15= natural life; over 15=life)

    Discretionary LWOP for enumerated first degree murder.

    §13-1105(A)(2)

    §13-752(A)

    For first-degree murder and other enumerated felonies, juveniles ages 15, 16 and 17 at time of offense SHALL be prosecuted as adults; Juveniles age 14 MAY be prosecuted as adults.

    §13-501(A)-(B)

    Juvenile under the age of 18 who is sentenced to 1st degree murder shall be sentenced to “life” or “natural life” in prison.  “Life” --> not released on any basis until 25 years served if the murdered person was 15 or older and 35 if the murdered person was 15 or younger.

    “Natural Life”--> no eligibility for parole, commutation, work furlough, work release, release from confinement on any basis.

    §13-751(A)-3

    -Juveniles serving JLWOP: 32
    -Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 1

Arkansas

Capital murder and treason punishable by mandatory LWOP or death penalty.

§5-10-101(c)

§5-4-601

§5-4-104(b)

Mandatory JLWOP for certain crimes (treason and capital murder), juveniles can be transferred to adult court and tried as an adult if they are at least 14 and commit certain enumerated crimes.

Will consider youth as a mitigating factor.

§5-4-605(4)

Prosecuting attorney may decide not to pursue death penalty with permission of courts, if ∆ found guilty of capital murder automatic LWOP.

§5-4-608

State may file motion in juvenile division to transfer to adult criminal court if the juvenile was 14 or 15 years old when certain enumerated crimes were committed.

§9-27-318

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 73
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 4

California

Penalty for ∆ found guilty of 1st degree murder who is b/w 16 and 18 is LWOP unless the court chooses a sentence of 25yrs to life.

§190.5(b)

Discretionary LWOP for juveniles 16 and older who are found guilty of 1st degree murder, younger juveniles can be sentenced to LWOP for certain enumerated crimes.

 

Under SB 9- those sentenced to JLWOP can petition for resentencing if certain conditions are met

Statute (§209) mandating LWOP for kidnapping for ransom by juvenile 14 or older was found to be unconstitutional.

In Re: Nunez

173 Cal.App.4th 709

Train wrecking punishable by LWOP for “every person”

§218

Treason punishable by death or LWOP.

§37

Every person found guilty of perjury which leads to the conviction and execution of an innocent person shall be sentenced to death or LWOP.

§128

Any person who uses a weapon of mass destruction shall be sentenced to death or LWOP.

§11418

A juvenile who is sentenced to JLWOP can petition for resentencing after serving 15 years if several requirements are met. This does not apply to juveniles who tortured their victims or killed a law enforcement official.

SB 9

Mandatory direct file for 14+ ∆’s convicted of certain enumerated crimes including murder

Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §602

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 250
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Colorado

Juvenile sentenced to JLWOP may be eligible for parole after serving 40 years after legislation was passed in 2006 abolishing JLWOP. This was not applied retroactively.

Colo. Rev. Stat. §17-22.5-104(IV)

JLWOP Sentence Prohibited. No juveniles have been sentenced to LWOP since 2005.

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 48
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 2

Connecticut

Capital murder (murder of peace officer, second intentional murder offense, murder during commission of sexual assault; murder of 2+ persons; murder of child under 16) carries mandatory LWOP sentence (60 years and absent death penalty) and discretionary LWOP for other forms of murder.

Conn. Gen. Sta. Ann. §53a-35a

Pre-Miller: Mandatory JLWOP for capital murder and other enumerated felonies as there’s mandatory transfer for youths over 14+ for certain enumerated felonies.

 

Post-Miller (effective after 4-25-2012): Discretionary JLWOP: if juvenile is found guilty or pleads guilty to a felony the judge must conduct a separate hearing to consider mitigating factors.

 

Automatic transfer for ∆ 14+ charged with capital felony prior to 4/25/2012, class A or B felony, or arson murder

§46b-127(a)

JLWOP for capital felony committed prior to 4/25/2012 (adults can get death penalty) or for class A felony of murder with special circumstances committed on or after 4/25/2012, and may get 25 to life for the class A felony of murder

Conn. Gen. Sta. Ann. §53a-35a

Capital felony (pre-4/25/12) = murder of public official; murder for hire; murder by defendant previously convicted of intentional or felony murder; murder by one who is under sentence of life imprisonment; murder during kidnapping; murder in course of sexual assault; murder of two or more people at same time; murder of individual under 16.

53a-54b

Post-4/25/12à When ∆ convicted of capital felony or pleads guilty to one presiding judge must conduct a separate hearing to determine the existence of any mitigating factor of ∆’s character, background and history, or the nature of the crime

§53a-46a

see (g) and (h)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 9
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Delaware

Any person convicted of first-degree murder shall be sentenced to mandatory life without parole

Del. Code Ann. Tit. 11, §4209(a)

Mandatory JLWOP if transferred to adult court.

Child shall be tried as adult where: acts alleged constitute first or second degree murder and other enumerated crimes; the child is not amenable to rehabilitative processes available at juvenile court; child has previously been adjudicated delinquent of 1 or more offenses which would constitute a felony were they charged as adult and has since reached their 16th birthday and the acts which form the basis of the current allegations are certain enumerated crimes.  CT shall, upon application, hold preliminary hearing and transfer student to Superior Court if case so dictates.

§1010

In determining whether the minor is amenable to the rehabilitative processes the court shall consider the age and personal characteristics of the child; the nature of the crime; whether the child has any prior convictions; whether the child has previously undergone treatment of family court; whether a dangerous instrument was used by the child; whether other participants in the same offense are being tried as adults.

§1010(c)(1)

In any case where Superior Court has jx over child, AG may transfer to Family Court if they believe the interests of justice would thus be best served.

1/24/12 Amendmentà Child’s competency can be raised either by party or Court itself, once raised CT must make determination that child’s competence is an issue they must be examined by at least one mental disability expert and may be declared incompetent if the CT determines that they suffer from a mental condition, disability or chronological immaturity.

§1011

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 7
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 1

Florida

Mandatory LWOP for juveniles convicted of murder.

Fla. Stat. Ann.

§ 775.082(1)

Mandatory JLWOP for juveniles (of ANY age) convicted of murder.

“Child of any age” may be indicted for crimes punishable by death or life imprisonment; once indicted, child must be “tried and handled in every respect as an adult”; once convicted, “child shall be sentenced as an adult.”

§985.56(1)

Mandatory LWOP for juveniles convicted of murder.

Fla. Stat. Ann.

§ 775.082(1)

“Child of any age” may be indicted for crimes punishable by death or life imprisonment; once indicted, child must be “tried and handled in every respect as an adult”; once convicted, “child shall be sentenced as an adult.”

§985.56(1)

-Juveniles serving JLWOP: 266
-Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 15

Georgia

Mandatory LWOP for all repeat offenders. Proposed legislation 2011 GA HB 1168 would make death penalty illegal in the state, thus all death sentences would be automatically commuted to LWOP.

Ga. Code Ann.

§17-10-7(b)

Discretionary JLWOP for juveniles age 13 years and older for certain enumerated crimes; mandatory and exclusive adult court jurisdiction for additional enumerated crimes.

Concurrent jx b/w adult and juvenile court for individuals alleged with committing an act which would be punished by death penalty, LWOP or life in prison were the ∆ an adult (If death penalty is abolished presumably the other two sentencing schemes still get concurrent jx).  Also, proposed legislation to “substantially revise, supersede and modernize provisions relating to juvenile proceedings (2011 GA H.B. 641 and 2011 GA SB 127).

§15-11-28(b)(1)

Adult court has exclusive jx over trial of any child 13+ alleged to have committed murder, manslaughter, rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery or armed robbery with a firearm. (Proposed legislation would limit child molestation jx to those offenses that involve child molestation that physically injures the child (2011 GA SB 224)).

§15-11-28(b)(2)(A)

After indictment, juvenile cases punishable by death, LWOP or life cannot be transferred to juvenile system.

§15-11-28(b)(2)(B)

Before indictment, Superior Court may opt to transfer case to juvenile court whereupon the adult court’s jx terminates (so long as the crime is not among those enumerated above).

§15-11-28(b)(2)(D)

Cannot try a person unless they were at least 13 years old when the crime was committed.

§16-3-1

Distinguish between a finding of delinquency (an act designated a crime under the laws of GA) and adjudication of a crime in that a finding of delinquency can be made for a child under the age of 13, but such child can never be adjudicated for a crime.

KMS v. State 200 S.E.2d 916 (Ga. Ct. App. 1973).

Mandatory LWOP or life sentence for first-degree murder.

§16-5-1

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 8
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Hawaii

Pre-Miller: persons convicted of first degree murder or attempted murder, or second degree murder “if the court finds that the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity” or repeat offender, get mandatory LWOP with possibility for governor to commute to life with parole at the end of 20 years.

Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 706-656; 706-657

Mandatory JLWOP for juveniles under the age of 18 for first-degree murder or attempted murder, and second-degree murder that is deemed “especially heinous.”  However, the governor may commute any LWOP sentence to life with parole after 20 years are served.

Court may waive jx and transfer minor to adult court if they are a minor over the age of 16, the alleged act would constitute a felony if committed by an adult, there is no evidence of that commitment or treatment by institutionalization would benefit the individual and the safety of the community requires their restraint beyond their minority.

§571-22(a)

The Court may waive jx and transfer a minor to adult court if they are over 14 and their alleged act would have constituted a felony if they were an adult and involved serious bodily injury to the victim, would constitute a class A felony if committed by an adult or the person is repeat offender.

Proposed legislation §571-22(e) would make transfer mandatory for juveniles 15-17 committed of first degree murder, obviously, this proposal is complicated by Miller (2011 HI HB 1476).

§571-22(b)

The Court will consider the “sophistication and maturity” of the minor as a mitigating factor in determining whether jx should be waived.

§571-22(c)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 4
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Idaho

Mandatory LWOP for every person guilty of murder in the first degree. 

Idaho Code Ann. §18-4004

 

Mandatory JLWOP for youth under 18 convicted of first-degree murder.

Court has discretion to waive jx and transfer juvenile to adult criminal courts if they committed certain enumerated crimes or if they are 14+ and are alleged to have committed a non-enumerated act which would be a crime if committed by an adult.

§20-508(1)

 

Pre-Graham: Any juvenile age 14-18 who is alleged to have committed certain enumerated crimes shall be mandatorily held for adult proceedings and may be sentenced, at the discretion of the judge, under adult sentencing guidelines OR in accordance with the juvenile sentencing guidelines OR transferred to custody in a juvenile corrections facility and suspend the sentence or withhold judgment conditioned upon juvenile’s completion and compliance with the program.

Post-Graham, ID has LWOP for offenses other than murder under this mandatory transfer scheme, but there is no proposed legislation available yet.

§20-509(3)-(4)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 4
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Illinois

Provides detailed mandatory sentencing guidelines including mandatory LWOP for first degree murder accompanied by exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty or where the death penalty cannot be imposed and one aggravating factor can be proven (c).

730 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/5-8-1

Mandatory JLWOP for all juveniles 13 years of age or older who are convicted of first-degree murder accompanied by certain aggravating factors.

Pre-Graham: Mandatory adult court jx over any minor (at least 13) who is charged with first degree murder committed during aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault or aggravated kidnapping. Mandatory adult court jx over any minor (at least 15) charged with first degree murder, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated battery w/ discharge of firearm, armed robbery or aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm.

705 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 405/5-130(4)(a)

Pre-Graham: Mandatory transfer for firearm offense where prior forcible felonies for 15+; discretionary transfer for gang-related felonies; presumptive transfer w/ judicial discretion for firearm felonies for 15+; judicial discretion to transfer 13+ after evaluation of enumerated factors.

§405/5-805(3)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 103
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 4

Indiana

Discretionary LWOP for juveniles 16+ who have committed murder.

Ind. Code Ann. §35-50-2-3

Discretionary LWOP for juveniles 16 years or older convicted of murder.

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 2
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Iowa

LWOP for conviction of a class “A” felony but minors under the age of 18 at the time of the offense shall be eligible for parole after a minimum of 25 years.

Iowa Code Ann. §902.1

Mandatory JLWOP for juveniles who commit murder.

Post-Miller: Gov. Terry Branstad commuted the sentences of JLWOP-ers from LWOP to 60 years without parole.

 

Pre-Graham: Juvenile Court may waive jurisdiction over offender provided that they are at least 14, there is probable cause to believe that they have committed a delinquent act which would constitute a public offense and the court determines that there are not reasonable prospects for rehabilitating that child if juvenile court retains jx.

§232.45(6)

(a)

Mandatory adult court jx over 16+ defendants charged with a forcible felony.

§232.8(1)(c)

Forcible felony includes murder.

§702.11

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 44
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 3

Kansas

Upon conviction of capital murder no sentence of death or life without parole if the defendant was less than 18 at the time of the commission of the crime. (Repealed Kan. Stat. Ann §21-4622, effective July 1, 2011)

Kan. Crim. Code §21-6618

JLWOP Sentence Prohibited for juveniles under the age of 18.

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 0
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Kentucky

No LWOP for offender under the age of 16, discretionary LWOP for youthful offender 16+. Youthful offenders convicted of capital offense shall get sentence of life imprisonment without parole for 25 years.  Current legislation is pending to do away with all language in the statute regarding capital punishment and youthful offenders and to change it simply to reflect that a youthful offender found guilty of a Class A felony may be sentenced to life without the benefit of parole for 25 years but that there shall be no life imprisonment without benefit of parole for such offenders. (202 KY SB 63 (NS))

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §640.040

JLWOP Sentence is Prohibited-

No JLWOP for juveniles under the age of 16, discretionary life sentence for juveniles age 16 or older who are convicted of a capital offense.  Life sentence means 25 years without parole for juveniles under the age of 18.

Youthful offender may be transferred to adult criminal facility after notice and hearing if it is found by a preponderance of the evidence that the offender has met one of several enumerated factors (danger to life or health of another youthful offender or staff at juvenile facility; escaped from facility; disrupted facility; etc.)

§640.070

Discretionary transfer of juveniles to adult criminal court upon prosecutor’s motion and consideration of several factors: seriousness of offense; whether offense was against a person; maturity of offender; prior record; interest of child and community; etc.)

§635.010

Mandatory transfer to adult criminal court if offender is over the age of 14 and there is probable cause to believe he used a firearm during commission of the crime.  Such juvenile shall be sentenced as an adult.  

§635.020

Youthful offenders who are transferred to adult criminal code pursuant to §635.020 for use of a firearm are to be considered “youthful offenders” as such and eligible for ameliorative sentencing.  Accordingly, §635.010 applies to juveniles who are transferred for firearm charges under §635.020.

Britt v. Commonwealth

965 S.W.2d 147 (Ky. 1998)

Kentucky Supreme Court has held that it is error to instruct a jury as to LWOP as a possible sentence for intentional murder by a 16-year-old, but found that the error was harmless as a lesser offense was awarded by the jury.

Shepherd v. Commonwealth

251 SW 3d 309

While life imprisonment without the possibility of parole may be imposed upon adult offenders, the KY Supreme Court has held that it is cruel and unusual punishment to apply it to juveniles in violation of the State constitution.

Workman v. Commonwealth

429 S.W.2d 374 (Ky. 1968)

Unpublished opinion which cites Workman in dicta for proposition that JLWOP is unconstitutional in any context.

Edmondson v. Commonwealth

2002 WL 32065611 (Ky. Sup. Ct. Dec 19, 2002)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 5
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Louisiana

Pre-Miller: Mandatory LWOP for first and second-degree murder regardless of the age of the offender.  (No post-Miller legislation is immediately pending at this time).

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §14:30, §14.301

Mandatory JLWOP for first and second-degree murder for juveniles who are 15 years or older at the time of the offense.

Adult criminal court has exclusive jurisdiction over juvenile 15+ charged with first or second-degree murder, aggravated rape or aggravated kidnapping after indictment or following finding of probable cause.

La. Child Code Ann. Art. 305

Art. 305 amended such that the district court may order the juvenile transferred to the adult detention facility, but such transfer is not mandatory.  Adult criminal court still has mandatory jurisdiction.  Unconstitutional under Graham but no proposed legislation is pending at this time to amend the law.

Approved June 11, 2012

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 355
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Maine

Any person convicted of murder shall be sentenced to life in prison or imprisonment for at least 25 years.

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 17A §1251

Discretionary JLWOP for youth under the age of 18 convicted of murder.

When a juvenile of any age has been charged with murder the prosecutor may request a discretionary hearing to determine whether the adult or juvenile court should have jurisdiction.  Any person bound-over and convicted as an adult shall be proceeded against as though they were an adult.

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 15

§3101(4)

§3101(4)(g)

In determining whether to bind-over the juvenile court shall consider: 1. The seriousness of the crime; 2. The characteristics of the juvenile; 3. Public safety; and, 4. Dispositional alternatives.

§3101(4)(D)

Supreme Court of Maine has reaffirmed that §1251 mandates that LWOP sentences are discretionary.

State v St. Pierre

584 A.2d 618, 621 (Me. 1990)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 0
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Maryland

Sentence of death, LWOP or life imprisonment for conviction of first-degree murder.

Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law §2-201(b)

Discretionary JLWOP for first-degree murder for youth under 18.

Criminal Code specifically forbids sentence of death for juvenile under the age of 18 who is convicted under §2-201.

§2-202

A defendant found guilty under §2-201 may be sentenced to LWOP only if the state gives written notice to the defendant at least 30 days before trial of its intention to seek LWOP and the aggravating circumstances it plans to use to support such a sentence and/or a hearing is held regarding the latter.

§2-203

§2-304

Adult court has discretionary jurisdiction over any juvenile 16+ for certain enumerated crimes (murder, kidnapping, rape, etc.). Adult court has discretionary jurisdiction over any defendant age 14+ charged with murder.

Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §3-8A-03

Discretionary jurisdiction over a defendant of any age charged with murder by waiver of juvenile court.   (Current legislation is in place requiring the Department of Juvenile Services to make a report to the General Assembly regarding how they will work towards ensuring that juveniles charged as adults will be held in juvenile facilities (2012 MD SB 761); additional proposed legislation would make a waiver or order denying transfer of jurisdiction by the juvenile court appealable to the Court of Special Appeals (2012 MD SB 981).

§3-8A-06

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 13
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Massachusetts

Mandatory LWOP for first-degree murder by minor of any age over 14.

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. Ch 265 §2

Mandatory JLWOP for juveniles 14 years of age or older who are convicted of first-degree murder.

Adult Court has exclusive jurisdiction over a juvenile age 14+ who is found guilty of first- or second-degree murder.  Such defendant shall be tried and treated as an adult. (Proposed legislation would amend sentence for first-degree murder conviction to life in prison with possibility of parole after 15 years have been served (2011 MA SB 672)).

Ch. 119 §72b

Mandatory adult court jurisdiction for any 14+ minor charged with first- or second-degree murder. (Proposed legislation would change age of majority to 18 rather than 17 to ensure that no minors are tried as adults (2011 MA HB 2232)).

§74

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 57
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Michigan

Mandatory life in prison for all people sentenced for first degree murder. (Proposed legislation HB 6013 would amend the statute to make it consistent with Miller).

Mich. Comp. Laws. Ann §750.316

In determining whether a juvenile convicted of homicide should be sentenced to life without parole or life with the possibility of parole, the Court needs to evaluate the factors delineated in Miller regarding youth and the circumstances of the arrest.  No retroactive application for Miller.

 

Juveniles convicted of certain enumerated crimes shall be the jurisdiction of Adult Criminal Court and shall be tried and convicted as such. (Proposed legislation HB 6015 would prospectively be sentenced to life with parole unless the prosecuting attorney request a post-trial hearing to determine whether life without parole is appropriate based on a number of mitigating and aggravating factors; HB 6018 enumerates additional factors to consider for retroactive and prospective JLWOP cases).

§769.1

Mandatory adult court jurisdiction for certain enumerated crimes (“specified juvenile violation”) committed by juvenile aged 14-17.

§600.606

Discretionary jurisdiction over juvenile 14+ upon petition to court by prosecutor for certain enumerated crimes (“specified juvenile violation” see §712A.2(a)(1)(A)-(I)). (Proposed legislation HB 6016 states that jurisdiction over juveniles should be determined according to the “best interests of the public” based on a number of mitigating and aggravating circumstances (see above)).

§712A.2(a)(1)

Pre-Graham: Adult court has discretionary jurisdiction over a juvenile 14+ if the offense would be a felony if committed by an adult upon motion by the prosecuting attorney and the judge of the family division court chooses to waive jurisdiction.  Hearing must be conducted and probable cause found to believe that the offense would be a felony if committed by an adult; mitigating factors include seriousness of the offense, culpability of the juvenile, prior record, adequacy of punishment in juvenile system, etc.

§712A.4

Pre-Miller: Certain crimes have a mandatory sentence of life without eligibility of parole (first degree murder, etc.); such sentence applies to juveniles who have been tried as adults. Found to be unconstitutional in Michigan v. Carp. (Proposed legislation in HB 6014 would amend this statute to address retroactive application of Miller by giving the parole board jurisdiction over offenders who have served certain terms of years (see above)).

§791.234(6)

Governor has discretion to grant clemency after serving 10 years of a LWOP sentence.

§791.244

Proposed legislation HB 6014 would give state parole board jurisdiction over juvenile lifers who have already served at least 15 years for a crime committed before they were 16, or who have served at least 20 years for a crime committed when they were between 16 and 18.  Parole board is directed to consider mitigating circumstances in determining whether the offender should be granted release (including the type of violation, whether the offender acted alone or in concert and whether the offender acted as a principal actor or merely as an accomplice).

PROPOSED

HB 6014

 

Proposed legislation HB 6015 would allow prosecuting attorneys to request a post-trial hearing to determine whether a juvenile convicted of serious crimes should be sentenced to life with parole or life without parole.  If the prosecuting attorney does not ask for such a hearing than the sentence is life with parole. The judge is instructed to consider the seriousness of the crime, the juvenile’s culpability and prior record, and the adequacy of the juvenile systems punishment. Prosecuting attorneys and prisoners currently serving mandatory JLWOP sentences could request similar resentencing hearings at which point the judge must consider a range of mitigating factors. 

PROPOSED

HB 6015

 

Proposed legislation HB 6016 would give adult court discretionary jurisdiction over juvenile offenders if the Court determines that it would serve the “best interests of the public” based on the seriousness of the offense, the juveniles culpability, the juvenile’s prior record and programming history, and the adequacy of punishment available in the juvenile system.

HB 6016

 

Until new legislation is written addressing juvenile life without parole post-Miller, when sentencing an individual under 18 years of age for a homicide offense, the sentencing court must review and evaluate the circumstances of youth and the circumstance of the offense delineated in Miller in determining whether or not the individual is eligible for parole.

Michigan v. Carp.

 

No retroactive application of Miller’s ban on mandatory juvenile life without parole sentences.

Michigan v. Carp

 

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 346
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 2

Minnesota

Mandatory LWOP for first-degree murder and other enumerated “heinous crimes”.

Minn. Stat. Ann. §609.106

Mandatory JLWOP for juveniles 16 years or older convicted of first-degree murder and other “heinous crimes.”  Discretionary JLWOP for juveniles 14 years of age and older.

Mandatory adult court jurisdiction over juvenile 16+ alleged to have committed first-degree murder.

§260B.007(6)(b)

Pre-Graham: Discretionary adult court jurisdiction over juvenile 14+ alleged to have committed an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult.  Presumption of waiver if the child is 16+.  (Effective August 1, 2011: when a minor, age 14+, is alleged to have committed a violent juvenile offense (enumerated acts listed in §609.185 and including first-degree murder) or an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult, juvenile court may waive jurisdiction.)

§260B.125

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 2
- Juvenile aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Mississippi

LWOP discretionary sentence for conviction of capital murder (also death penalty or life in prison).

Miss. Code Ann. §97-3-21

Mandatory LWOP sentence for conviction of capital murder.  Although Sec. 97-3-21 states that capital murder can be sentenced to life with parole,  Sec. 47-7-3 states that there is no option of parole for capital murder.

 

Mandatory adult court jurisdiction over minor 13+ if the alleged act would constitute a crime punishable by life imprisonment or death if committed by an adult, or any act involving the use of a deadly weapon.

§43-21-151

Pre-Graham: Discretionary adult court jurisdiction over minor 13+ upon motion of the prosecutor or the court for offenses over which the court would have trial jurisdiction if committed by an adult.

§43-21-157

In the event that death penalty is found to be unconstitutional, all death sentences shall be automatically commuted to LWOP.

§99-19-107

No person who is charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment under §99-19-101 (jury sentencing trial) shall be eligible for parole.

§47-7-3(1)(f)(9)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 24
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 2

Missouri 

Mandatory sentence of death or LWOP for first-degree murder (knowingly causing the death of another person after deliberation); only possibility of release is by act of the governor.

Mo. Ann. Stat. §565.020

Mandatory JLWOP for all first-degree murder for juveniles age 12 or older. May be paroled by act of the governor.

Pre-Graham: Discretionary adult court jurisdiction upon motion of the court or by the juvenile officer for offenses committed by minors (12+) which would be considered a felony if committed by an adult. 

§211.071

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 116
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 3

Montana

Mandatory sentencing schemes do not apply if the defendant was under 18 at the time of the offense.

Mont. Code Ann. §46-18-222

JLWOP sentence prohibited for juveniles under the age of 18.

Deliberate homicide carries discretionary sentence of LWOP, otherwise life imprisonment or term of 10-100 years if defendant is under 18.

§45-5-102

Discretionary adult court jurisdiction for defendants 12+ for certain enumerated felonies; additional felonies are enumerated if the defendant is 16+.  If the defendant is 17+ the county attorney shall file a waiver.

§41-5-206

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 1
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Nebraska

Pre-Graham: Concurrent jurisdiction between juvenile and adult courts over any juvenile under the age of 16 who has committed an act which would constitute a felony if committed by an adult.

Neb. Rev. Stat. §43-247

Mandatory JLWOP for juveniles under the age of 18 who are convicted of first-degree murder; discretionary JLWOP for juveniles convicted of Class IA felony.

Pre-Graham: In determining whether to file in criminal court, district attorney shall consider a number of factors including the motivation for the offense, the juveniles previous history and age, and the sophistication and maturity of the offender.

§43-276

Judicial discretion to waive case to juvenile court at the request of the defendant.

§29-1816

Penalty for a Class IA felony may be LWOP, discretionary. (Proposed legislation would make Class I felony a discretionary sentence of LWOP and a class IA felony life imprisonment (2011 NE LB 276);

§28-105

Sentence for first-degree murder must be LWOP unless there is a unanimous death sentence.  First-degree murder is defined as killing another person 1). Purposely and with deliberate and premeditated malice; 2). In perpetration of certain enumerated crimes; or, 3). By administering poison.  (Proposed legislation would make first-degree murder a Class I felony (rather than distinguishing between Class I and Class IA first-degree murder) (2011 NE LB 276)).

§29-2522

§28-303

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 24
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 2

Nevada

Discretionary sentence of LWOP for first-degree murder (along with life with possibility of parole after 20 years served or a definite term of years).

Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. §200.030

Discretionary JLWOP for first-degree murder.  Children under the age of 8 may not be held liable for their crimes, but children between the ages of 8 and 14 may be charged for their crimes if there is clear proof that they knew their actions were wrong. 

Children under 8 may not be punished for their crimes; children between 8 and 14 may not be charged for their crimes unless there is clear proof that they knew of its wrongfulness at the time the offense was committed.

§194.010

Pre-Graham: Mandatory transfer to adult court for cases involving murder, sexual assault (by minor 16+), use or threatened use of a firearm (by minor 16+), a felony resulting in death or substantial bodily harm to the victim, etc.

§62B.330

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 21
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

New Hampshire

Mandatory LWOP for first-degree murder (purposely causing the death of another or knowingly causing another’s death in certain enumerated circumstances).

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann §630:1-a

Mandatory JLWOP for first degree murder for juveniles under 18.

Pre-Graham: Person under the age of 15 is not criminally responsible for their conduct but may be adjudged a juvenile delinquent.  In cases involving murder, assault, kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and other specified crimes, a defendant 13+ may be held criminally responsible upon transfer to criminal court.

§628:1

Pre-Graham: Discretionary transfer to superior court for trial as an adult for any offense which would constitute a felony if the defendant were an adult.

§169-B:24

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 3
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

New Jersey

LWOP permissible for juveniles tried as adults; JLWOP limited to certain situations in which it is mandatory: victim is less than 14 years and murder occurred during course of a sexual assault or criminal sexual contact, OR the victim was law. (Proposed legislation would make murder of minor under the age of 18 during commission of a sex crime mandatory LWOP (2012 NJ SB 1950); another proposal would change the language to specifically state that “murder is a crime of the first degree and a person convicted of murder, including a juvenile who has been tried as an adult, shall be sentenced by the court to a term of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole (2012 NJ SBN 361); also, proposal for mandatory LWOP for persons convicted of murdering a child 16 or younger (2012 NJ SB 627);

NJ Stat Ann, §2C:11-3(b)(g)

Mandatory JLWOP in certain very limited circumstances for juveniles 14 or older.

Juvenile court shall waive jurisdiction on the motion of the prosecutor and without the juvenile’s consent following a hearing in which it is decided that the juvenile was 14+ at the time of the offense and there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile committed an act which would fall under certain enumerated felonies if committed by an adult. (Proposed legislation would change the law requiring that the juvenile be 17+ at the time of the alleged act (2012 NJ AB 3106)).

§2A:4A-26

Per Senate Judiciary Committee Statement: the substitute bill which eliminates the death penalty and replaces sentences carrying the death penalty with LWOP does not allow LWOP for juveniles tried and sentenced as adults under aggravating factors analysis but instead mandates that they be sentenced to a term of 30 years to life, with 30 years without parole eligibility.  The statement further reiterates the fact that under §2C:11-3(b) a juvenile must be sentenced to LWOP for murdering a police officer or a victim under the age of 14 during a sexual assault.

S 171 & 2471

Juveniles serving JLWOP: 0
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

New Mexico

Maximum sentence is life imprisonment with possibility of parole after serving 30 years.

NM Stat. Ann. §31-21-10

JLWOP sentence prohibited.

“Youthful offender” is a minor 15-18 years old who has been charged with and adjudicated for certain enumerated offenses. A “serious youthful offender” is a minor 15-18 who has been indicted for first degree murder.

§31-18-15.2(A)

A “serious youthful offender” must be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of the Criminal Sentencing Act and may be sentenced to less than, but not exceeding, the mandatory term for an adult.

§31-18-15.3(D)

Court has discretionary jurisdiction over determining whether “youthful offenders” shall be tried as juveniles or adults. 

§32A-2-20

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 0
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

New York

Element of first-degree murder is that defendant must be 18+ when crime committed (first-degree murder carries sentence of JLWOP under §70.00).

§125.27(1)(b)

Mandatory JLWOP for terrorism convictions only.

Pre-Graham: Person under the age of 16 is not criminally responsible for their conduct unless they commit certain enumerated crimes and are 13-15 years old.  

§30.001(1)-(2)

For crime of terrorism the sentence is LWOP regardless of age.

§490.25

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 0
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

North Carolina

Mandatory LWOP for juveniles under 18 convicted of first degree murder.

NC Gen Stat §14-17

Mandatory JLWOP for juveniles 13 or older who are convicted of first-degree murder.

Pre-Graham: After notice ,hearing and probable cause court may, upon motion of the prosecutor, juvenile’s attorney or by the Court itself, transfer juvenile 13+ at the time of the offense to adult court.  If the crime constitutes a Class A felony and the court finds probable cause then the court must transfer the juvenile. (Proposed legislation would make transfer mandatory for juveniles 16+ whose offense would be a Class B1, B2, C, D, or E felony if committed by adult; Court shall retain jurisdiction only if the court makes a finding of extraordinary circumstances (2011 NC HB 632 and 2011 NC SB 506).

§ 7B-2200

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 44
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 5

North Dakota

Pre-Graham: Discretionary LWOP for Class AA felonies.

ND Cent. Code §12.1-32-01

Discretionary JLWOP for Class AA felonies for juveniles age 14 or older.

Pre-Graham: Persons under age 7 are cannot be held criminally responsible for their acts; juvenile cannot be tried as an adult if they are under 14.

§12.1-04-01

Mandatory transfer to adult court for certain enumerated crimes if the juvenile was 14 or older at the time the crime was committed.

§ 27-20-34

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 1
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Ohio

Juveniles under 18 convicted of aggravated murder get mandatory life sentences, with possibility of parole after 20 or 30 years served. (Before 2008, sentence was discretionary JLWOP.)

§ 2929.03

(E)

Mandatory JLWOP for juveniles 14 and older convicted of murder, rape of a juvenile under the age of 10 and other violent sex crimes.

Pre-Graham: Mandatory transfer for juveniles 16+ at the time the crime was committed or was 14+ at the time and had previously been adjudicated as a delinquent child for committing a category one or two offense.  Otherwise, discretionary transfer for juveniles 14+.

§ 2152.10

Pre-Graham: Mandatory LWOP for conviction of murder, rape of victim under 10 and other violent sex crimes

§2971.03

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 2
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Oklahoma

Death, LWOP or life sentence for conviction of first-degree murder.

Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §701.9

Discretionary JLWOP for certain enumerated crimes committed by juveniles at least 13 years of age.

Mandatory transfer for juveniles 13+ for charge of murder. Juvenile 16+ charged with murder, kidnapping and other enumerated crimes automatically treated and tried as adult. (Previously tit. 10, §7306-1.1). (Proposed legislation for the “Serious Juvenile Offender Act” would give the Court greater discretion in deciding how to try juveniles and would change the juvenile sentencing procedure. (2011 OK HB 2740).

10A, §2-5-101(A)

Pre-Graham: Mandatory transfer for juveniles 13-14 charged with murder in the first-degree, so long as they are fit to stand trial and subject to the provisions of the Youthful Offender Act.  Juveniles 15+ shall be mandatorily transferred for a charge of murder in the first-degree and are not subject to the Youthful Offender Act.

10A § 2-5-205(A)

The Court may, upon motion from the prosecuting attorney, transfer juvenile “youthful offenders” for sentencing as adults.

10A § 2-5-208

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 49
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Oregon

Sentence upon any person waived from the juvenile court shall not include LWOP.

Or. Rev. Stat. § 161.620

JLWOP sentence prohibited under any circumstances.

ORS §161.620 mandates that juvenile offender cannot be sentenced to LWOP and that the trial judge should approach the sentencing of juveniles with flexibility and not be constrained by mandatory sentencing schemes.

State v. Davilla, 972 P.2d 902 (Or. Ct. App. 1998)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 0
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Pennsylvania

Pre-Miller: Mandatory LWOP for murder in the first-degree or for murder of law enforcement officer. Mandatory minimum sentence for second-degree murder is life.  (Proposed legislation would make sentence for first-degree murder committed by juvenile discretionary LWOP. (2011 PA SB 850)); other proposed legislation would add murder of a first responder to the list of mandatory LWOP crimes (2011 PA HB 1389);

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§1102, 9711

Pre-Miller: Mandatory JLWOP for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder (intentional killing with malice) or second-degree felony-murder; no minimum age limit for juveniles to be sentenced to JLWOP.

Pre-Miller: No possibility of parole for inmates serving life sentence, thus, even if the sentence is merely “life” rather than LWOP, PA treats both as LWOP in effect.

61 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6137

No minimum age requirement for JLWOP sentence.  Murder is never included in the definition of a “delinquent act,” numerous other crimes are omitted for offenders who are 15+ and additional crimes are enumerated for repeat offenders age 15+.

42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann, § 6302

Court may transfer murder and other non-delinquent act cases to juvenile court upon a finding by the Court that the defendant is a child and the defendant has established by a preponderance of the evidence that such transfer will serve the public interest.

§6322

Pre-Graham: Automatic adult court jurisdiction for murder and other crimes exempt from the definition of delinquent acts unless the court makes a finding under §6322.

§6355(e)

Current Changes- In first degree murder convictions, JLWOP remains as a sentencing option for all youth regardless of age.  However, in cases involving youth ages 15-17, a judge can, upon consideration of a series of aggravating and mitigating factors, impose a 35 years-to-life sentence.  If the child is under the age of 15, the judge can impose a 30 years-to-life sentence.

 

In cases of second degree murder (often referred to as “felony murder”), JLWOP is no longer a sentencing option.  Instead, youth ages 15-17 convicted of this offense must receive a minimum 30 years-to-life sentence, and youth under the age of 15 must receive a minimum 20 years-to-life sentence. 

 

The bill is not retroactive.

SB 850

Post-Miller:  Under SB 850 JLWOP is now discretionary

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 444
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 18

Rhode Island

Discretionary JLWOP for certain enumerated crimes subject to evidence regarding the nature and circumstances of the crime and the defendant.

R.I. Gen. Laws §12-19.2

Discretionary JLWOP for youth under 18 convicted of certain enumerated crimes.

Mandatory life imprisonment for first-degree murder and mandatory LWOP for certain enumerated types of first-degree murder.

§11-23-2

Pre-Graham: No age limit for transfer of juvenile whose crime would be sentenced by life imprisonment if committed by an adult; juveniles 16+ may be transferred for any crime which would constitute a felony if committed by an adult.  Waiving hearing must be conducted to determine jurisdiction.

§ 14-1-7

LWOP sentence cannot be suspended nor will parole ever be considered.

§12-19-11

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 2
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

South Carolina

Except where the death penalty is imposed, LWOP is mandatory only for conviction “for a most serious offense” and that person has prior convictions for certain enumerated crimes.

S.C. Code Ann. § 17-25-45

Mandatory JLWOP for youths under the age of 18 convicted of a serious offense who have certain other prior convictions.

 

 

Pre-Graham: Mandatory transfer to family court for defendants under the age of 17 at the time the crime was committed; discretionary transfer to adult court for children 16+ charged with misdemeanors, class E or F felonies or felonies with a maximum sentence of 10 years; discretionary transfer for children 14-15 charged with offenses that would be Class A, B, C or D felony if committed by an adult.

§ 63-19-1210

Supreme Court of South Carolina interpreted the lack of any discussion regarding an age limit for certain crimes by youth in §20-7-7605 as meaning that no age limit existed. (§7605 was repealed in 2008 when Title 63 was enacted).

State v. Corey, 529 S.E. 2d 20 (SC 2000)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 26
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

South Dakota

Pre-Miller: Life imprisonment is the mandatory minimum for Class A felony, including for juvenile offenders.

S.D. Codified Laws §22-6-1

Mandatory JLWOP for Class A felonies committed by juveniles who are at least ten years old.

Pre-Graham: Mandatory transfer to adult criminal court for juvenile 16+ charged with Class A, B, C, 1 or 2 Felony.  Juvenile may request a transfer hearing to determine if it is in the public’s best interests that the child be tried as an adult but there is a rebuttal presumption that it is.

§26-11-3.1

Pre-Graham: Discretionary transfer for any case of a delinquent child against whom felony charges are sought subject to a number of mitigating factors.

§26-11-4

Pre-Miller: No inmate sentenced to life imprisonment shall be eligible for parole (life imprisonment means JLWOP).

§ 24-15-4

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 9
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 1

Tennessee

Penalty for first-degree murder is death, LWOP or life.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-202 & 204

 Discretionary JLWOP for first-degree murder for juveniles under 18.

Pre-Graham: Mandatory transfer for 16+ accused of crime or public offense; mandatory transfer for children under 16 for certain enumerated crimes.

§37-1-134(a)(1)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 4
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 1

Texas

2009, senate bill prohibits JLWOP but mandates that juveniles serve 40 years before possibility of parole.

SB 839

JLWOP sentence prohibited.

Maximum sentence for juvenile courts is 40 years for various enumerated crimes including murder.

Tex. Fam. Code ann. §54.04(d)(3)(A)

Discretionary jurisdiction waiver to adult criminal court if the child is alleged to have committed certain enumerated felonies; for juveniles 14+ these include capital felony, aggravated controlled substance felony, felony of first degree; and for children 15+ includes second or third degree felonies and state jail felonies.

§54.02(a)(2)(A)

Juvenile court may waive jurisdiction for capital felonies by juveniles 10+.

§54.02(j)(2)

Mandatory waiver without discretionary transfer proceedings for juveniles who are alleged to have committed felonies and have previously been transferred and convicted to the district or criminal court for criminal proceedings.

§54.02(m)

Child includes all persons age ten to seventeen.

§51.02

Pre-Miller: Life imprisonment is mandatory for juveniles transferred under §54.02 of Family Code who are convicted of a capital felony.

Tex. Penal Code Ann. §12.31

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 4
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Utah

Discretionary LWOP or term of years not less than 25 for first-degree murder.

Utah Code Ann. §76-3-207.7 & 206

Discretionary JLWOP for juveniles 14 years or older who are convicted of first-degree murder.

District Court has exclusive jurisdiction over juveniles 16+ charged with murder/aggravated murder or an offense that would be felony and the juvenile has previously been committed to a secure facility.

§78A-6-701

Discretionary waiver of jurisdiction for 14+ charged with certain enumerated crimes after a hearing.

§78A-6-602

Pre-Graham: Discretionary transfer of jurisdiction to adult court for juveniles 14+ (previously §78-3a-502(3).

§78A-6-602

 

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 1
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Vermont

Discretionary LWOP for first- and second-degree murder (§2303 was held unconstitutional in State v. Provost, 896 A.2d 55 (2005) because it required the jury to weigh enumerated aggravating and mitigating factors that were not found by the jury beyond a reasonable doubt before imposing a LWOP sentence.)  Law has been rewritten so that the parties may enter evidence specifically geared at the various factors.

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 2303

Discretionary JLWOP for first and second degree murder for juveniles age 10 and older; youth will be considered a mitigating factor in determining whether to sentence a defendant to JLWOP.

One mitigating factor under §2303 is whether the defendant “because of youth or old age, lacked substantial judgment in committing the murder.”

tit. 13, § 2303(f)

(4)

Pre-Miller: LWOP is mandatory punishment for aggravated murder, requires that defendant committed first or second degree murder with one or more aggravating factors.

tit. 13 § 2311(a)

Discretionary transfer for enumerated crimes by juveniles age 10+.

tit. 33, § 5204(a)

(5)

Discretionary jurisdiction for certain enumerated crimes for juveniles 10 to 14 may be treated as an adult; mandatory jurisdiction for juveniles 14-16 for the same crimes; Juveniles between the ages of 14-16 who are charged with murder shall be treated as adults unless they are transferred to juvenile court.

tit. 33 §5102(2)

(C)(ii)

Motion to transfer defendant age 10-18 from criminal court to juvenile court may be filed by the state’s attorney, the defendant or the court on its own motion.

§5281(a)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 0
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Virginia

Mandatory life imprisonment for capital murder if defendant is under 18 years of age.         

Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-10

Mandatory JLWOP for capital murder committed by juveniles defendants age 14 and older.

States that “life” means LWOP because there is no possibility of parole for someone who is sentenced to life.

Lenz v. Warden of Sussex Stat. Prison, 593 S.E.2d 292 (Va. 2004)

Pre-Graham: Mandatory transfer for juveniles 14 and older charged with a felony if committed by an adult upon motion of the prosecutor, a hearing on the merits and a transfer hearing and subject to probable cause. (Proposed legislation would add gang participation, intent to distribute controlled substances and numerous other offenses to the list of enumerated crimes. (2012 VA S.B. 419)).

§16.1-269.1

Juvenile may appeal  transfer to adult court within ten days of the juvenile court’s decision.

§16.1-269.4

Pre-Graham: No possibility of parole for any person convicted of three separate felony offenses of murder, rape and/or robbery with a deadly weapon. (Proposed legislation would allow an LWOP convict to petition to the parole board for reconsideration of their parole ineligibility if certain factors are met (2012 VA HB 392)).

§53.1-151(B1)

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 56
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Washington

Pre-Miller: Any person convicted of aggravated first-degree murder (requires presence of at least one aggravating factor enumerated in §10.95.020) shall be sentenced to LWOP or death. (Proposed legislation would develop an indeterminate sentence board to review prior JLWOP convictions via meaningful periodic sentencing reviews (2011 WA H.B. 1063)).

Wash. Rev. Code § 10.95.030

Discretionary JLWOP for first-degree murder, minimum age of 16.

Life sentence w/ possibility of parole for first-degree murder (including premeditated and felony murder per §9a.32.030).

§9a.32.040

Exclusive adult court jurisdiction for juveniles sixteen and older charged with committing serious violent offenses. (Proposed legislation would give adult court exclusive jx over juveniles charged with committing first or second degree murder only (2011 WA HB 1289)).

§ 13.04.030

(e)(v)(A)-(E)

Pre-Graham: Mandatory decline hearing is to be held (unless declined by court, parties and their counsel) if juvenile is 16-17 and charged with class A felony or attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a class A felony, or if the child is 17 and charged with certain other enumerated felonies.

§13.40.110

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 28
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 4

West Virginia

Murder in the first-degree carries mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

W. Va. Code Ann. §61-2-2

Discretionary JLWOP for first-degree murder for youth under the age of 18.

Discretionary LWOP for first-degree murder, otherwise, life with parole after at least 15 years served. (Proposed legislation would amend statute so that sentence for first-degree murder is mandatory LWOP. (2012 WB HB 4079)).

§62-3-15

Court has discretion to sentence juvenile as a juvenile even if they are transferred to adult court.

§49-5-13(f)

Pre-Graham: Mandatory transfer to adult criminal court for juveniles 14 or older charged with certain enumerated crimes and discretionary transfer for juveniles under 14 charged with the same enumerated crimes. (Proposed legislation would add child abuse to the list of enumerated crimes (2012 WV HB 2314)).

§49-5-10

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 0
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

Wisconsin

Juvenile who commits first-degree intentional murder is guilty of a Class A felony.

Wis. Stat. Ann. §940.01

Discretionary JLWOP for first-degree murder for juveniles who are at least 10 years of age.

Mandatory penalty for Class A felony is life imprisonment.

§939.50(3)(a)

Possibility of parole is discretionary sentence in all life sentences.  (Proposed legislation would mandate LWOP for certain enumerated crimes including intentional homicide of a child and certain sex crimes against children (2011 WI AB 136)).

§973.014

Pre-Graham: Adult court has exclusive jurisdiction over juveniles 10 and older charged with first-degree murder, first-degree reckless homicide and second-degree intentional homicide.  (Proposed legislation

§938.183

Pre-Graham: Adult court has discretionary jurisdiction over defendants aged 14 and older for certain additional enumerated crimes, subject to a request for waiver.

§938.18

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 16
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 1

Wyoming 

Murder in the first degree is punished with death or LWOP or life imprisonment (discretion).

Wyo. Stat. Ann. §6-2-101

Discretionary JLWOP for first-degree murder by a juvenile age 13 or older.

Pre-Graham:  Juvenile court has exclusive jurisdiction in cases in which defendant is under the age of 13 and is alleged to have committed a felony punishable by imprisonment for more than six months.  

§14-6-203(d)

Concurrent jurisdiction between adult and juvenile cases for defendants 14 years and older charged with certain enumerated felonies.

14-6-203(f)(iv)

Judicial discretion to transfer.

14-6-237

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 6
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

District of Columbia

No person less than 18 years of age may be sentenced to life without parole.

D.C. Code §22-2104

JLWOP sentence prohibited

- Juveniles serving JLWOP: 0
- Juveniles aged 13-14 serving JLWOP: 0

1The guide is based upon work completed by Michelle Leighton and Brian Foley listed as an appendix in the law review article "Sentencing Children to Die in Prison." The materials have been surveyed and updated as accurately as possible but there may be need for further clarification and analysis. We welcome updates, comments, or analyses from U.S. lawyers and advocates. Please send these to delavega@usfca.edu.

This guide was updated on November 28th, 2012.