In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Miller v. Alabama that people who commit crimes as juveniles, even murder, have to be given a meaningful chance at release and can’t be given life without parole. BUT it was not retroactive. The states have been working out what to do with cases of people who were sentenced under older schemes.
One of these cases in Oregon is award-winning writer and PEN fellowship recipient Sterling Cunio. He was sentenced at 16 and is now 42. After decades of fighting, federal Judge Kasubhai with the U.S District Court of Oregon has FINALLY said Oregon has to give Sterling a Miller hearing with the parole board…BUT the state of Oregon can still appeal this ruling, delaying further.
SO here is the “Call to Action” part:
BEFORE Wednesday morning (March 4), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and IN YOUR OWN words say that you live in Oregon, and you want the Oregon DOJ/Attorney General to support allowing people who committed crimes as juveniles to show that they can be rehabilitated, and therefore for them to not appeal the recent decision in Cunio vs Brown.
(And please email rather than calling, as they asked people to stop calling about this and email instead).
You can mention things like: that you live here and pay taxes, that you think Oregon should set an example on juvenile justice, that you think they should apply the Miller vs. Alabama decision to everyone, that you think giving life sentences to juveniles is cruel and unusual punishment, that science has shown that adolescent brains are still developing.
Let your voice be heard!
Also, here are the articles for your reference…