Document Type


First Page

E. Supp. 52


In 2013, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, following a United States Supreme Court case, Miller v. Alabama, held that all juvenile homicide offenders would have an opportunity for parole after serving fifteen years in prison. Subsequently, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, in Diatchenko v. District Attorney for the Suffolk District, held that juvenile homicide offenders are entitled to representation by counsel at parole hearings, funds for expert witnesses, and can be granted judicial review of parole board decisions. The majority afforded these additional procedures with the intention of providing juvenile homicide offenders with a meaningful opportunity for release. The dissent argued that the majority overstepped their judicial boundaries and entered the executive realm by combining criminal sentencing with parole hearing procedures. This Comment argues that the majority appropriately granted juvenile homicide offenders parole hearing procedural protections.