By Burt Rose
Brown asserted that his sentence of a mandatory term of life in prison without the possibility of parole for second-degree murder violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment pursuant to Miller v. Alabama, as he was sixteen years old when he committed the crime. The Commonwealth conceded that Brown must be resentenced on this basis.
In footnote 7, the Court states the following:
On October 25, 2012, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed new legislation setting forth the sentence for persons who commit murder, murder of an unborn child and murder of a law enforcement officer prior to the age of 18. 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 1102.1. This statute expressly applies only to defendants convicted after June 24, 2012. Id. As the trial court sentenced Brown on May 23, 2011, this statute is inapplicable to the case at bar.But see Batts, 2013 WL 1200252, at *13 (Baer, J., concurring) (“[F]or purposes of uniformity in sentencing, it would be appropriate for trial courts engaging in the task of resentencing under this circumstance to seek guidance in determining a defendant’s sentence and setting a minimum term from the General Assembly’s timely recent enactment in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Miller.”).