The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed with an Appeals Court ruling that denied a retrial in a first-degree murder conviction of an 18 year-old defendant.
Robin Rick Manning was 18 years and three months old when he was involved in a crime in which the victim was shot and killed. Manning was sentenced to mandatory life in prison without parole.
Manning’s lawyer argued since he was so young, a sentence of life without parole violates the Constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The argument went on to say the U.S. Supreme Court ruled those under the age of 18 should not be sentenced to life without parole because a juvenile’s brain is still developing and the science behind that decision is still evolving. Attorney Amanda K. Rice with the Jones Day law firm argued the prohibition on life without parole should be extended to people a little older.
Justices asked if you don’t draw the line at age 18, where do you draw the line?
The Michigan Court of Appeals said no, Manning’s case could not be retried, and the Michigan Supreme Court has now agreed.