For over a decade, the ACLU of Michigan has fought against Michigan’s cruel policy of allowing children to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. There is a second group that is often overlooked: children who were sentenced to life with the theoretical possibility of parole, but are not given meaningful hearings, fair consideration, or a realistic shot at release when they become parole eligible.
In December 2018, we joined the Juvenile Law Center in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of Montez Stovall, who pled guilty when he was 17-years-old to second-degree murder in order to receive a parolable life sentence rather than face life with no possibility of parole. Our brief argues that Michigan must employ fair procedures for parole consideration that give him a realistic opportunity for release if he can demonstrate that he is rehabilitated and not a threat to society.
In June 2019 the Michigan Supreme Court remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for further consideration.
(People v. Stovall; ACLU Attorney Dan Korobkin; co-counsel Marsha Levick of the Juvenile Law Center and Tessa Bialek of Quinnipiac University School of Law.)