A Debate Reemerges: The Virginia Supreme Court Splits 4-3 Over Life Sentence for Juvenile Convicted

On February 2, 2017, the Virginia Supreme Court decided the case of Donte Lamar Jones v. Commonwealth of Virginia, Record No. 131385 (“Jones II”). Justice D. Arthur Kelsey wrote for the four-justice majority. Justice Cleo E. Powell authored a dissent, joined by Justices S. Bernard Goodwyn and William C. Mims. As of this writing, the Jones II decision lacks either a Virginia Reporter or Southeastern 2nd Reporter citation. The Jones II decision followed remand of the case from the U.S. Supreme Court, “for further consideration in light of Montgomery v. Louisiana, 577 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 718, 193 L.Ed. 2d 599 (2016).” See also, Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed. 2d

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