The United States Supreme Court recently changed the law concerning punishment of juveniles for adult crimes. First, in Graham v. Florida, they held that a juvenile may not be sentenced to life in prison for non-homicide crimes. Next, in Miller v. Alabama, they found that a court may not automatically sentence a juvenile to life in prison without parole for a homicide crime.
In Mississippi, our statutes had forced judges to sentence juveniles convicted of murder to life without parole. Eichelberger Law Firm client Dunta Dotson, who was sentenced to life without parole for a crime he was found guilty of committing while he was a juvenile, just received an order setting aside his sentence, based upon Miller. There now will be an evidentiary hearing to determine a more appropriate sentence for Mr. Dotson.