CONVERSATING ABOUT WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND!
By CAESAR X. GRANT
Every wave that rises eventually ebbs, never to rise again. While some are compact enough to be contained in a bathtub, others have the strength and velocity to wipe out large cities. But irrespective of velocity and size, each has the ability to taxi the surfer a certain distance. From there it’s sink or swim.
For even the kamikaze-minded surfer, the main objective is to return safely to shore. In the case of adult LWOPers, the objective is to return safely to freedom. Applying this analogy, adult murder offenders would do well to view themselves as surfers and the Supreme Court’s Miller/Jackson decision as a wave of exceptional size with tremendous velocity. Nothing is more settled in American jurisprudence than that the guarantee of equal protection of the law means no person or class of persons shall be denied the same protection of the law which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in the same place and under like circumstances. Missouri v. Lewis, 101 U.S. 22, 31, sub nom. Bowman v Lewis, 25 L.Ed. 989, 992 (1880). This fundamental principle dates back to the Magna Carta (1215).
Under this analogy, Miller/Jackson graduates to a tsunami sized wave for ALWOP surfers, not for what it holds, but for what it does not. Put differently, American jurisprudence strictly forbids favoring juvenile murder defendants over adult ones. And if a wave can gain strength and velocity as it proceeds along, this one does! As Justice Field aptly observed nearly a century and a half ago:
‘[U]nder the 14th Amendment no impediments should
be interposed to the pursuits of anyone except as
applied to the same pursuits by others under like
circumstances; no greater burdens should be laid upon
one than are laid upon others in the same calling and
condition; and in the administration of criminal justice
no different or higher punishment should be imposed
upon one than such as is prescribed to all for like offenses.’
Barbier v. Connolly, 113 U.S. 27, 31, 28 L.Ed 923, 924, 5 S.Ct. 357, 359 (1885). Given the plethora of Supreme Court decisions on point, irrespective of age, race or circumstance, the Miller/Jackson “equal protection” wave cannot and must not be passed up!!! Mandatory LWOP terms make for an ocean far too vast and volatile for even the most skilled swimmer to swim. And for those who say Miller/Jackson is too big and volatile a wave to surf, fact is, drowning becomes you….
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