Louisiana inmate, Henry Montgomery, was convicted in the 1963 killing of a sheriff deputy. He was a juvenile at the time. Montgomery was convicted and sentenced to death, but the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that he did not get a fair trial and the initial sentence was thrown out. He was subsequently retired, convicted, and sentenced to life without parole at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory sentencing of life without parole for juvenile offenders constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, but the question regarding the retroactive application of the ruling had not been in answered. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court once again took Montgomery’s case and decided to retroactively apply the 2012 decision to inmates already in prison. Since the ruling, Montgomery, now 72 years old, has been denied parole twice. The most recent parole decision was made on April 11, 2019.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom.
The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
“After 55 years in prison, Baton Rouge man key to Supreme Court ruling again denied freedom,” The Advocate
“Inmate From Supreme Court Case Rejected for Parole a Second Time,” Juvenile Justice Information Center
- Writing: Why was Henry Montgomery denied parole for a second time?
- Debate: The 2016 landmark Supreme Court ruling should not be retroactively applied to inmates already in prison.
- Poll: The Louisiana parole board should have granted Henry Montgomery parole.
- Short Answer: What is the purpose of a parole board?
Current Events Quiz
1. Henry Montgomery has been in prison for _____ years.
2. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the sentencing a juvenile to life in prison without the possibility of parole was a violation of an inmates ______ Amendment rights.
3. Louisiana’s parole board consists of ______ members.
- Parole boards must vote unanimously in order for parole to be granted. (T/F)
- The sole opposing parole board member claimed that Henry Montgomery was still considered dangerous to society. (T/F)
- Parole boards typically look for criteria such as growth, maturity, and rehabilitation. (T/F)
Featured Image: iStock.com/Rex_Wholster