The United States Supreme Court held in Graham v. Florida (2010) and Miller v. Alabama (2012) that children may not be sentenced to life without parole without taking in consideration the unique characteristics of youth. In 2014, Florida lawmakers passed legislation requiring individualized sentencing hearings for juveniles who are facing life in prison. The legislation also provides for eventual judicial review of the sentence in lieu of parole. In 2015, Florida Supreme Court decided in Falcon v. State that Miller must be retroactively applied. There are nearly a thousand juveniles in Florida who are serving life or de facto life sentences who are now entitled to be re-sentenced.
The Florida Resentencing and Review Project at the FIU College of Law was created with the goal of ensuring that each juvenile in the State of Florida who is either already serving or subject to adult sanctions receives a robust and comprehensive defense. The focus of the Project is to provide consultation and training for attorneys who are representing juveniles in the adult system, collect data in the wake of the decisions in Miller and Graham, and advise on policy and legislation affecting juveniles who are subject to prosecution as adults. The Project is supervised by Stephen K. Harper, Executive Director of the FCCR, and funded by the Vital Projects Fund.
Roseanne Eckert, board certified criminal trial lawyer and former capital post-conviction attorney, is the Coordinating Attorney for the Project. Ms. Eckert moderates a listserv called Juvenile Sentencing Advocates and is available for free training and individual case consultations. You may reach her at email@example.com or 305.348.7484.