Commonwealth v. PerezAnnotate this Case
Where a juvenile is sentenced for nonmurder offenses and the aggregate time to be served prior to parole eligibility exceeds that applicable to a juvenile convicted of murder, the sentence cannot be reconciled with article 26 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights unless, after a hearing on the factors articulated in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), the judgment makes a finding that the circumstances warrant treating the juvenile more harshly for parole purposes than a juvenile convicted of murder.
Defendant was seventeen years old when he committed the offenses leading to his convictions for armed robbery, armed assault with intent to rob, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and related firearms offenses. The judge sentenced Defendant to an aggregate sentence of thirty-two and one-half years, with parole eligibility after twenty-seven and one-half years. Defendant later filed a motion for resentencing, arguing that the aggregate sentence violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment and the cognate provision of article 26. The superior court denied the motion. The Supreme Judicial Court remanded the matter for a Miller hearing to determine whether Defendant’s sentence comported with the requirements of article 26. If not, then Defendant must be resentenced.