and submitted March 7, 2019, at the University of Oregon
School of Law, Eugene, Oregon.
review from the Court of Appeals (CC 11C24240) (CA A154420)
T. O'Connor, O'Connor Weber LLC, Portland, a rg ued
the cause and fled the briefs for petitioner on rev iew.
L. Smith, Deputy Solicitor General, Salem, argued the cause
and fled the brief for respondent on review. Also on the
brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin
Gutman, Solicitor General.
B. Kaplan, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, fled the
brief for amici curiae Constitutional Law and Criminal
Alexander A. Wheatley, Fisher & Phillips, LLC, Portland
fled the brief for amici curiae Lewis & Clark Law
School's Criminal Justice Reform Clinic, Oregon Criminal
Defense Lawyers Association, Oregon Justice Resource Center,
Juvenile Law Center, and Phillips Black, Inc.
Walters, Chief Justice, and Balmer, Nakamoto, Flynn, and
Nelson, Justices, and Kistler and Brewer, Senior Justices pro
Or. 22] Case Summary:
was 15 when he and his twin brother murdered an elderly
couple. Among other charges, petitioner was charged with and
convicted of murder, receiving an 800-month sentence.
Following the United States Supreme Court's decision in
Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), petitioner
fled a petition for post-conviction relief, in which he
argued that his 800-month sentence for murder is the
equivalent of a life-without-parole sentence that did not
comply with Miller. Specifically, petitioner argued
that, to be in accord with Miller, his sentence
required the trial court to determine that he was one of the
rare juvenile offenders who is irreparably corrupt, a
determination that the trial court did not make in
petitioner's case. The post-conviction court dismissed
the petition as pro-cedurally barred, and the Court of
Appeals affirmed. Held: Petitioner's petition
for post-conviction relief is not procedurally barred; his
sentence of 800 months is subject to Miller; and the
record does not establish that the trial court found
petitioner to be one of the rare juvenile offenders who is
decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The judgment of
the circuit court is reversed, and the case is remanded to
the circuit court for further proceedings.
Or. 23] WALTERS, C. J.
with his twin brother, Lydell, petitioner Laycelle White was
charged with and convicted of aggravated murder and murder,
receiving a sentence of life with the possibility of
parole for the murder of one victim and an 800-month
determinate sentence for the murder of the
other. In a petition for post-conviction relief,
petitioner argues that his 800-month sentence for one murder
is a de facto sentence of life without parole that must
comport with the United States Supreme Court's decision
in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455,
183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012). Miller forbids a court from
imposing a sentence of life without parole on a juvenile who
commits a homicide, unless the homicide reflects the
juvenile's irreparable corruption rather than the
transient immaturity of youth. Id. at 479-80.
Petitioner argues that the record in this case, which was
decided 17 years before Miller, does not establish
that the trial court made the required "irreparable
corruption" finding and that his sentence therefore is
invalid. We agree and reverse the decisions of the Court of
Appeals, White v. Premo, 286 Or.App. 123, 399 P.3d
1034 (2017), and of the post-conviction court, and remand to
the post-conviction court for further proceedings.
case raises virtually the same issues that we decided today
in Lydell's case. White v. Premo (S065188), 365
Or. 1, ___P.3d___ (2019) (White (Lydell)). There, we
determined that Lydell's petition for post-conviction
relief was not proce-durally barred, that Miller
applies to de facto life sentences, and that, given the
particular circumstances presented in that case, Lydell's
800-month determinate sentence for one murder was subject to
Miller's protections. Id. at___, ___.
The record in that case did not convince us that the
sentencing court had reached the conclusion that Lydell was
one of the rare juvenile offenders who is irreparably
depraved and that no reasonable sentencing court could reach
any other conclusion. Id. at___. We therefore
reversed the decision of the post-conviction court dismissing
Lydell's petition and ordered that court to enter a
judgment vacating his sentence [365 Or. 24] and remanding to
the sentencing court for further proceedings. Id.
the facts and arguments that the parties present on those
issues are almost identical to those presented in
Lydell's case, and we write only to discuss one
distinction- the slight difference in the sentencing