Cordero Neely appeals his life sentence without parole. We reverse Neely's non-homicide and first-degree murder sentences and remand for resentencing because a life sentence for juvenile offenders is impermissible without a meaningful opportunity for release as provided for in section 775.082(1)(b)(1), Florida Statutes (2014), and section 921.1402, Florida Statutes (2015). We base our decision on statutory interpretation and juvenile sentencing jurisprudence for which we provide a brief overview.
Our discussion begins with Miller v. Alabama, ___ U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012) and Montgomery v. Louisiana, ___ U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct. 718, 193 L.Ed.2d 599 (2016). Miller involved a juvenile convicted of murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole where the United States Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment prohibits a "sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without possibility of parole for juvenile offenders." Miller, 132 S.Ct. at 2469. Montgomery involved a juvenile convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole. Montgomery, 136 S.Ct. at 725. In Montgomery, the United States Supreme Court reiterated Miller's determination ("that sentencing a child to life without parole is excessive for all but `the rare juvenile offender whose crime reflects irreparable corruption' ... [which renders] a life sentence 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"). Id. at 734. It further declared that Miller's retroactive effect does not require states to re-litigate sentences in cases where juvenile offenders received a mandatory life without parole sentence. Id. at 736.
The Florida Supreme Court held in Falcon v. State, 162 So.3d 954 (Fla.2015), that Miller applied retroactively, and the appropriate remedy for a Miller violation was resentencing the juvenile offender
Accordingly, we reverse Neely's non-homicide and first-degree murder sentences and remand to the trial court for the appropriate resentencing under sections 775.082(1)(b)(1) and 921.1402, and consistent with the cases cited herein.
Reversed and remanded with directions.