State v. Nollen

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State v. Nollen

Case Number
S-16-0133
Call Date
January 5, 2017
Court Number
Washington
Case Summary

S-16-0133 State v. Dale v. Nollen (Appellant)

Washington County, Judge John E. Samson

Attorneys: Adam J. Sipple (Johnson & Mock) (Appellant) --- Melissa R. Vincent (Attorney General's Office)

Criminal: First degree murder; vacate sentence

Proceedings below: After Appellant's life sentence was vacated following Miller v. Alabama, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012); Nollen was resentenced 90 years to life in prison.

Issues: l. The trial court erred by imposing a de facto life sentence categorically prohibited by the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article l, Sections 9 and 15 of the Nebraska Constitution.

Felony Murder is considered a non-homicide for purposes of Eighth Amendment sentencing analysis absent findings the juvenile killed or intended to kill.
By making him ineligible for parole consideration until the age of 62, and never eligible for release from parole, the sentence denies Nollen a meaningful opportunity for release.
II. In violation of Nollen's rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, and Article One Section 3 of the Nebraska Constitution, the trial court committed procedural error and denied Nollen due process by failing to use adequate procedural safeguards to protect against arbitrary and capricious imposition of a de facto life sentence.

The district court erred by failing to make findings necessary to subject Nollen to the de facto life sentence imposed.
The district court erred by failing to make findings demonstrating adequate consideration of Nollen's age and age-related characteristics.
III. In violation of Nollen's rights under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and Article One Sections 9 and 15 of the Nebraska Constitution, the district court erred by imposing a sententence unconstitutionally disproportionate to his offense in light of Nollen's age, age-related characteristics, and proven reform.