State v. Williams, ___ N.C.App. ___ (Sept.18, 2018)

Vacated and Remanded

In 2011, after being convicted on two counts of first-degree murder, the seventeen year old defendant was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), and enactment of conforming legislation in North Carolina to replace mandatory life without parole sentencing for juvenile murderers with a permissive sentencing scheme, the defendant sought relief through a motion for a new sentencing hearing. The trial court sentenced the defendant to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The standard set forth in Miller and its progeny as relied on by the North Carolina Supreme Court in State v. James, 247 N.C.App. 350, requires that juvenile life without parole be reserved for the rare children whose crimes reflect “irreparable corruption.” The trial court’s finding of no certain prognosis for the possibility of the defendant’s rehabilitation did not rise to the required level of finding the defendant permanently incorrigible and irreparably corrupt. The sentence to life without parole was therefore vacated and the case was remanded to the trial court for resentencing to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole.

Related Criminal Cases
Criminal Sentencing
Click on a term below for additional case summaries tagged with the same term.