State v. Delbosque – Washington Supreme Court

Court: Washington Supreme Court
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Hearing Date: 

Case Description:
Christian Delbosque experienced profound and significant medical, physical and emotional trauma both prenatally and during his short childhood. When he was sixteen-years-old and living on his own when he shot and killed a friend and stabbed and killed his girlfriend. He was charged, tried and convicted in adult court for Aggravated First Degree Murder and Second Degree Felony Murder and sentenced to life without parole or the possibility of release. Following the US Supreme Court Decision in Miller v. Alabama and Washington’s passage of the “Miller-Fix” through RCW 10.95.035 and RCW 10.95.030, Mr. Delbosque was resentenced. Evidence was presented to the court regarding Mr. Delbosque’s youthfulness and disability, however the court re-sentenced him to a minimum of 48 years.

Amicus Description:
WDA joined the Korematsu Center for the Law and Equality and other advocacy organizations in filing an Amicus Brief on Mr. Delbosque’s behalf. The Amicus argued that a sentencing court must set the minimum sentence at the bottom of the “Miller-Fix” statutory range unless the state is able to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the juvenile offender does not have the hallmark features of youth. In addition, the only way that a juvenile offender can have a “meaningful opportunity for release” is if the minimum sentence applied under Miller is under 25 years. The state should carry the burden of proving that a child is incorrigible to justify a minimum sentence over 25 years.