Moretti et al v. State of Washington – Washington Supreme Court

Court: Washington Supreme Court
Case No.: 
95263-9 (Consolidated with 95510-7 and 96061-5)
Hearing Date: 

Case Description:
In these three consolidated cases, Mr. Moretti, Mr. Orr and Mr. Nguyen challenge their life sentences under the Persistent Offender Accountability Act (POAA). Each one of these individuals was sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment following a third “strike” conviction. Each one of these individuals had at least one prior “strike” conviction for an offense that occurred when they were under age 21, in late adolescence and while their brains were developmentally still maturing.

Amicus Description:
In this Amicus Brief, Amici urge the court to apply the holding of Roper, Graham and Miller to individuals sentenced under Washington’s “Three Strikes” law, the Persistent Offender Accountability Act (POAA) due, in part, to strike offense convictions for conduct that occurred prior to their 21st birthday. Because the POAA does not allow for individualized sentencing that accounts for a young adults developmental immaturity and ongoing neurological development and requires mandatory imposition of a life without parole sentence, it must be ruled unconstitutional under the state and federal constitutions when applied to convictions when the individuals were still developing.