Click v. State, CR–12–0941.

CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Writing for the CourtWELCH, Judge.
Citation215 So.3d 1189
Parties Jimmy Shane CLICK v. STATE of Alabama.
Decision Date08 July 2016
Docket NumberCR–12–0941.

215 So.3d 1189

Jimmy Shane CLICK
v.
STATE of Alabama.

CR–12–0941.

Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.

July 8, 2016.


215 So.3d 1191

Stephen Andrew Strickland, Birmingham, for appellant.

Luther Strange, atty. gen., and James R. Houts, asst. atty. gen., for appellee.

On Remand from the United States Supreme Court

WELCH, Judge.

Jimmy Shane Click appealed from the Madison Circuit Court's dismissal of his Rule 32, Ala. R.Crim. P., petition that sought relief from his sentence based on the authority of Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012). The circuit court's judgment dismissing Click's Rule 32 petition was affirmed on appeal. Pursuant to the United States Supreme Court's judgment in Click v. Alabama, ––– U.S. ––––, 136 S.Ct. 1363, 194 L.Ed.2d 346 (2016), we reverse the judgment of the circuit court and remand the case to the Madison Circuit Court for further consideration in light of Montgomery v. Louisiana, ––– U.S. ––––, 136 S.Ct. 718, 193 L.Ed.2d 599 (2016).

At the age of 17, Jimmy Shane Click committed a capital murder.1 Following his June 18, 1994, conviction, Click was sentenced to the mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.2 The judgment was affirmed on appeal. Click v. State, 695 So.2d 209 (Ala.Crim.App.1996). On April 20, 2001, this Court affirmed Click's appeal from the circuit court's dismissal of his first Rule 32, Ala. R.Crim. P., petition seeking postconviction relief from his conviction and sentence. Click v. State, 821 So.2d 218 (Ala.Crim.App.1999) (on return to remand). On November 16, 2001, the Alabama Supreme Court denied certiorari review without opinion.

On June 25, 2012, the United States Supreme Court released Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012). In Miller, the United States Supreme Court held that "the Eighth Amendment forbids a sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without possibility of parole for juvenile offenders" because, "the mandatory sentencing schemes ... violate [the] principle of proportionality, and so the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment."

215 So.3d 1192

Miller, 567 U.S. at 479, and 489, 132 S.Ct. at 2469 and 2475.

"Mandatory life without parole for a juvenile precludes consideration of his chronological age and its hallmark features—among them, immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate risks and consequences. It prevents taking into account the family and home environment that surrounds him—and from which he cannot usually extricate himself—no matter how brutal or dysfunctional. It neglects the circumstances of the homicide offense, including the extent of his participation in the conduct and the way familial and peer pressures may have affected him. Indeed, it ignores that he might have been charged and convicted of a lesser offense if not for incompetencies associated with youth—for example, his inability to deal with police officers or prosecutors (including on a plea agreement) or his incapacity to assist his own attorneys."

Miller, 567 U.S. at 477–78, 132 S.Ct. at 2468.

Miller emphasized that imposing the harshest possible sentence on "all children convicted of homicide" would be uncommon,

"[g]iven all we[, the United States Supreme Court,] have said in Roper [v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005),] and Graham [v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010) ], and this decision about children's diminished culpability and heightened capacity for change."

Miller, 567 U.S. at 479 and 489, 132 S.Ct. at 2469 and 2475. However, Miller "mandates only that a sentencer follow a certain process—considering an offender's youth and attendant characteristics"—before "meting out" a sentence of life imprisonment without parole. Miller, 567 U.S. at 483, 132 S.Ct. at 2471. "[A] judge or jury must have the opportunity to consider mitigating circumstances before imposing the harshest possible penalty for juveniles." Miller, 567 U.S. at 489, 132 S.Ct. at 2475.

On December 20, 2012, Click filed a Rule 32 petition "asserting that his mandatory life-without-parole sentence was unconstitutional in light of Miller. " On February 25, 2013, the circuit court entered an order summarily dismissing Click's Rule 32 petition. Click appealed, contending that the rule announced in Miller was retroactive to cases on collateral review, that his claim was not procedurally barred, and that his Miller claim was jurisdictional.

On April 4, 2014, while Click's Rule 32 petition was pending, this Court decided Williams v. State, 183 So.3d 198 (Ala.Crim.App.2014), aff'd Ex parte Williams, 183 So.3d 220, 221 (Ala.2015). Williams held that the rule announced in Miller does not apply to cases on collateral review. Williams v. State, 183 So.3d at 220 ("[T]he rule announced in Miller is subject to the general rule of nonretroactivity.").

On June 6, 2014, this Court affirmed, by unpublished memorandum, the circuit court's dismissal of Click's postconviction petition based on the authority of Williams. Click v. State (No. 12–0941), 184 So.3d 464 (Ala.Crim.App.2014)(table). The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari review. Click v. Alabama, ––– U.S. ––––, 136 S.Ct. 1363, 194 L.Ed.2d 346 (2016). While Click was pending, the United States Supreme Court released its decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana, ––– U.S. at ––––, 136 S.Ct. 718, 193 L.Ed.2d 599 (2016).

Montgomery was 17 years old when he committed a capital murder. Under the applicable Louisiana law, Montgomery received the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without parole. "The sentence

215 So.3d 1193

was automatic upon the jury's verdict, so Montgomery had no opportunity to present mitigation evidence to justify a less severe sentence." Montgomery, ––– U.S. at ––––, 136 S.Ct. at 726. Montgomery collaterally attacked his sentence under a Louisiana statute providing that " ‘[a]n illegal sentence may be corrected at any time by the court that imposed the sentence.’ " Montgomery, ––– U.S. at ––––, 136 S.Ct. at 726 (quoting La.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 882 ). Louisiana's "collateral review procedures are open to claims that a decision of this Court has rendered certain sentences illegal, as a substantive matter, under the Eighth Amendment." Montgomery, ––– U.S. at ––––, 136 S.Ct. at 732.

Ultimately, the United States Supreme Court held in Montgomery that the decision in Miller prohibiting a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders "announced a substantive rule of constitutional law" and was retroactive on collateral review. Montgomery, ––– U.S. at ––––, 136 S.Ct. at 736–37. In discussing retroactivity, the Montgomery Court recognized that a substantive constitutional rule that prohibits " ‘a certain category of punishment for a class of defendants because of their status or offense’ " is subject to retroactive application in a state court. Montgomery, ––– U.S. at ––––, 136 S.Ct. at 729 (quoting Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302, 330, 109 S.Ct. 2934, 106 L.Ed.2d 256 (1989), abrogated by Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 122 S.Ct. 2242, 153 L.Ed.2d 335 (2002) ). The Court noted that Miller had determined that "juvenile offenders whose crimes reflect the transient immaturity of youth" are a class of defendants. Montgomery, ––– U.S. at ––––, 136 S.Ct. at 734.

"Because Miller determined that sentencing a child to life without parole is excessive for all but ‘ "the rare juvenile offender whose crime reflects irreparable corruption," ’ 567 U.S. at 479–80, (quoting Roper [v. Simmons], [543 U.S. 551], at 573 [ (2005) ] ), it rendered life without parole an unconstitutional penalty for ‘a class of defendants because of their status'—that is, juvenile offenders whose crimes reflect the transient immaturity of youth. Penry [v. Lynaugh], 492 U.S. [302], at 330. As a result, Miller announced a substantive rule of constitutional law. Like other substantive rules, Miller is retroactive because it ‘ "necessarily carr[ies] a significant risk that a
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6 practice notes
  • Wilkerson v. State, CR-17-0082
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • November 16, 2018
    ...were the result of the ‘ "transient immaturity of youth" ’ and not ‘ "irreparable corruption." ’ " (C. 108 (quoting Click v. State, 215 So.3d 1189, 1193, 1194 (Ala. Crim. App. 2016), quoting in turn Montgomery, 577 U.S. at 136 S.Ct. at 734 ).)284 So.3d 944 On August 15, 2017, the circuit co......
  • Wynn v. State, CR-19-0589
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • May 28, 2021
    ...... violate [the] principle of proportionality, and so the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment." ' Click v. State, 215 So. 3d 1189, 1191-92 (Ala. Crim. App. 2016) (quoting Miller, 567 U.S. at 479, 132 S.Ct. 2455). The Miller Court reasoned:" ' "Mandatory life without paro......
  • Jones v. State, CR-19-0485
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • August 6, 2021
    ...circumstances before imposing the harshest possible penalty for juveniles.' Miller, 567 U.S. at 489, 132 S.Ct. at 2475." Click v. State, 215 So.3d 1189, 1192 (Ala.Crim.App.2016). See also Jones, 539 U.S. at, 141 S.Ct. at 1316 ("[T]he Miller Court mandated 'only that a sentencer follow a cer......
  • Thrasher v. State, CR-17-0393
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 12, 2019
    ...his crime was not the result of ‘transient immaturity or youth,’ but instead was the product of ‘irreparable corruption.’ Click v. State, 215 So.3d 1189 (Ala. Crim App. 2016). Considering all the circumstances, this Court finds that this is the rare case where the original sentence of the t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Wilkerson v. State, CR-17-0082
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • November 16, 2018
    ...were the result of the ‘ "transient immaturity of youth" ’ and not ‘ "irreparable corruption." ’ " (C. 108 (quoting Click v. State, 215 So.3d 1189, 1193, 1194 (Ala. Crim. App. 2016), quoting in turn Montgomery, 577 U.S. at 136 S.Ct. at 734 ).)284 So.3d 944 On August 15, 2017, the circuit co......
  • Wynn v. State, CR-19-0589
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • May 28, 2021
    ...... violate [the] principle of proportionality, and so the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment." ' Click v. State, 215 So. 3d 1189, 1191-92 (Ala. Crim. App. 2016) (quoting Miller, 567 U.S. at 479, 132 S.Ct. 2455). The Miller Court reasoned:" ' "Mandatory life without paro......
  • Jones v. State, CR-19-0485
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • August 6, 2021
    ...circumstances before imposing the harshest possible penalty for juveniles.' Miller, 567 U.S. at 489, 132 S.Ct. at 2475." Click v. State, 215 So.3d 1189, 1192 (Ala.Crim.App.2016). See also Jones, 539 U.S. at, 141 S.Ct. at 1316 ("[T]he Miller Court mandated 'only that a sentencer follow a cer......
  • Thrasher v. State, CR-17-0393
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • April 12, 2019
    ...his crime was not the result of ‘transient immaturity or youth,’ but instead was the product of ‘irreparable corruption.’ Click v. State, 215 So.3d 1189 (Ala. Crim App. 2016). Considering all the circumstances, this Court finds that this is the rare case where the original sentence of the t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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