The Supreme Court’s prior decision in Miller v. Alabama, holding that sentencing juveniles to life without parole violates the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause, is a substantive constitutional rule that must be applied retroactively on state collateral review (unlike a procedural rule, which need not be enforced retroactively).
Enforcing a penalty barred by the Constitution is by definition unlawful. States may remedy the violation by extending parole eligibility to juvenile offenders; resentencing is not required. See: Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016).
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Related legal case
Montgomery v. Louisiana
|136 S.Ct. 718 (2016)