State v. Bassett – Washington Supreme Court

Court: Washington Supreme Court
Case No.: 
Hearing Date: 
February 22, 2018

Case Description: 
Brian Bassett is serving three life without the possibility of parole sentences for murders he committed when he was age 16. This sentence was re-imposed when Mr. Bassett was age 35 and had served 20 years in prison, despite the prosecution’s failure to rebut the significant evidence demonstrating Mr. Bassett’s post-offense rehabilitation. The Court of Appeals ruled that the sentence violated the state Constitution.

Amicus Description:
WDA joined The Korematsu Center as Amicus on this case arguing first, that Washington’s cruel punishment jurisprudence needs to evolve beyond the proportionality analysis under State v. Fain, 94 Wn.2d 387, 617 P.2d 720 (1980), which is ill-suited to aid in the inquiry of whether juvenile life without parole is ever constitutional.  Amicus also argued that a Gunwall analysis supports the Court of Appeals decision, and that the Court of Appeals functionally conducted a Gunwall analysis.

No opinion available yet.