from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 170, 582 Honorable Brady
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT Douglas Lee Harville Counsel for
ANTONIO M. JACKSON Pro Se
E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney Counsel for Appellee
W. FULCO TOMMY J. JOHNSON Assistant District Attorneys
WILLIAMS, MOORE, and GARRETT, JJ.
defendant, Antonio M. Jackson, received the mandatory
sentence of life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit
of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence for a second
degree murder committed in 1994 when he was a juvenile.
Following Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct.
2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012), and Montgomery v.
Louisiana, 577 U.S.__, 136 S.Ct. 718, 193 L.Ed.2d 599
(2016), the defendant filed motions to correct an illegal
sentence. In compliance with State v. Montgomery,
2013-1163 (La. 6/28/16), 194 So.3d 606, the trial court
vacated his sentence and resentenced him to life imprisonment
without the benefit of probation or suspension of sentence,
but with the possibility of parole. The defendant appeals. We
1994, the defendant and two accomplices committed an armed
robbery, during the course of which two victims were
killed. At the time of the offenses, the defendant
was 17 years old. He was convicted of one count of
manslaughter, for which he was sentenced to 40 years at hard
labor, and one count of second degree murder, for which he
received the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment at hard
labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of
sentence. The sentences were ordered to be served
consecutively. This court affirmed his convictions and
sentences in State v. Jackson, 29, 470 (La.App. 2
Cir. 8/20/97), 707 So.2d 990.
Miller v. Alabama, supra, the United States
Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment forbids a
sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without the
possibility of parole for juvenile homicide offenders. The
Miller court did not establish a categorical
prohibition against life without parole for juvenile homicide
offenders; instead, the case required the sentencing court to
consider certain factors, including the offender's youth,
before deciding whether to impose life with or without
the Miller decision, the defendant filed a pro se
motion to correct illegal sentence in August 2012. Relying
upon the principles of State v. Craig, 340 So.2d 191
(La. 1976),  he argued that he should be resentenced to
no more than 40 years at hard labor. Counsel was appointed to
assist the defendant. The motion was denied in December 2013.
2013, the Louisiana Legislature enacted La.C.Cr.P. art. 878.1
and La. R.S. 15:574.4(E) to address cases under
Miller. The former required district courts to
conduct a hearing to determine parole eligibility, while the
latter provided conditions under which juvenile homicide
offenders could become eligible for parole consideration. In
2016, the United States Supreme Court, in Montgomery v.
Louisiana, supra, held that Miller
applied retroactively to defendants whose convictions and
sentences were final prior to the decision in
2016, the defendant filed another pro se motion to correct
illegal sentence. He again urged the Craig solution.
At a hearing on June 21, 2016, the motion was denied, as was
the defendant's request for appointment of counsel.
However, to bring the defendant's sentence in compliance
with Miller, the trial court vacated his sentence on
the second degree murder conviction and imposed a sentence of
life without the possibility of probation or suspension.
Because it was unable to articulate adequate grounds for
consecutive sentences and also to enhance the defendant's
opportunity for parole eligibility in conformity with
Miller, the court further ordered that this sentence
be served concurrently with the defendant's sentence for
remand in the Montgomery case, the Louisiana Supreme
Court issued a per curiam decision on June 28, 2016,
in which it directed lower courts to conduct hearings at
which La.C.Cr.P. art. 878.1 and La. R.S. 15:574.4(E) were
applied to determine whether to impose life imprisonment with
or without parole eligibility. See State v.
2016, the defendant filed a pro se notice of appeal, as well
as a motion for appointment of counsel, which was granted.
August 2016, the defendant filed a pro se motion to
reconsider sentence, in which he alleged violations of the ex
post facto and due process clauses. The trial court issued a
written ruling denying the motion.
September 27, 2016, the defendant and appointed counsel
appeared for a hearing on another motion to reconsider
sentence. The trial court granted the motion, vacated the
sentence imposed in June 2016, and set the matter for
resentencing on October 26, 2016. At that subsequent hearing,
following the guidelines set forth by the Louisiana Supreme
Court in State v. Montgomery, supra, the
trial court again imposed a life sentence without the benefit
of probation or suspension of sentence, but with the
possibility of parole. It also ordered the defendant's
sentences to run concurrently. In November 2016, both the
defendant, proceeding pro se, and defense counsel filed
motions to reconsider sentence, which were denied by a
written ruling in December 2016.
instant appeal follows. Defense counsel asserts two
assignments of error. In a pro se brief, the defendant ...