Williams v. State (Majority, with Concurring and Dissenting)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court denying Appellant a resentencing hearing and imposing a life sentence with parole eligibility pursuant to the Fair Sentencing of Minors Act (FSMA), holding that because Appellant had his sentence vacated pursuant to Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), Appellant was not subject to sentencing under the FSMA.
Appellant was convicted of capital murder for an offense he committed when he was less than eighteen years of age. The jury sentenced Appellant to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Appellant's sentence was later vacated pursuant to Miller. Before the resentencing hearing, the Arkansas General Assembly passed the FSMA. The circuit court sentenced Appellant under the FSMA to a term of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after thirty years. After the circuit court's order, the Supreme Court decided Harris v. State, 547 S.W.3d 64, in which the Court determined that individuals who had their sentences vacated pursuant to Miller were not subject to sentencing under the FSMA. On appeal, Appellant argued that his case should be controlled by Harris even where Harris was handed down after the circuit court's ruling. The Supreme Court agreed and remanded the case for resentencing in accordance with Harris.