Falcon v. StateAnnotate this Case
Defendant was fifteen years old when she took part in an attempted robbery that resulted in a death. Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder, among other crimes. The trial court imposed a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the murder. A decade after Defendant’s convictions and sentences became final, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Miller v. Alabama. Defendant subsequently filed a motion for postconviction relief and to correct an illegal sentence, asserting that her sentence was unconstitutional under Miller and, therefore, she was entitled to be resentenced. The trial court denied the motion on the basis of the First District Court of Appeal’s precedent in Gonzales v. State, which held that Miller did not apply retroactively. The First District affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the Supreme Court’s decision in Miller applies retroactively to juvenile offenders whose convictions and sentences were final at the time Miller was decided; and (2) based on the Court’s decision in Horsley v. State, the appropriate remedy for any juvenile offender whose sentence is now unconstitutional under Miller is to conduct a resentencing proceeding consistent with the provisions of chapter 2014-220, Laws of Florida.