Colgan on Retroactive Sentencing for Juvenile Offenders

A month ago, I linked to a short post I wrote for the New York Times about retroactive sentencing for juvenile offenders under Miller v. Alabama. In the piece, I was skeptical that the Court’s decision would be retroactive under federal law, since the Supreme Court’s decision focused on the right to a hearing.

My former Stanford colleague Beth Colgan now has a piece in the UCLA Law Review Online, making the opposite case. She argues that Alleyne v. United States — a decision from last term about mandatory minimums and jury trials — has surprising implications for retroactivity analysis. I’m not sure I agree, but Colgan’s article is the best thing I’ve read on that side of the debate.

By the way, you may have noticed that online law reviews are publishing a lot these days, and they seem to be where a lot of the shorter (sometimes very short) scholarship is going — a fact that may be relevant to the debate about article length below. For more thoughts on the changing role of online law reviews, see this post by Howard Wasserman.