McGilberry v. MississippiAnnotate this Case
In 1994, sixteen-and-a-half-year-old Stephen McGilberry brutally murdered four family members, including his three-year-old nephew. McGilberry premeditated and planned his crime, enlisting a younger neighbor’s help. A jury found McGilberry guilty of four counts of capital murder and sentenced him to death. But in 2005, the United States Supreme Court invalidated the death penalty for offenders who committed their capital crimes before reaching the age of eighteen. McGilberry's death sentence was vacated and he was resentenced to life without parole. In 2012, the Supreme Court held that the mandatory imposition of life without parole for crimes committed before the offender turned eighteen violated the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Based on Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), the Mississippi Supreme Court granted McGilberry permission to seek post-conviction relief from his sentence. The Mississippi Supreme Court determined that the record supported the trial court's determination that McGilberry should have been sentenced to life without parole based on his "irreparably corrupt nature," the Court found no abuse of discretion in the sentencing decision.