Juvenile Law Center

Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Olds

Along with Atlantic Center for Capital Representation and Wendy L. Williams & Associates, Juvenile Law Center filed an Application for Exercise of Extraordinary Jurisdiction or King's Bench Power on behalf of over 100 juveniles sentenced to JLWOP and then resentenced to 20-to-life terms. We argued that there is no case law or statute that applies to juveniles initially sentenced to life without parole whose convictions became final prior to the Miller decision and that such juveniles must be sentenced differently than post-Miller juvenile offenders. We further argued that Pre-Miller juveniles convicted of felony murder must be sentenced differently than juveniles convicted of first degree premeditated murder.

In a March 31, 2017 order, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied the Application for Exercise of Extraordinary Jurisdiction or King’s Bench Power.

Subsequently, Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, Wendy L. Williams & Associates, and Juvenile Law Center filed an appeal in the Pennsylvania Superior Court challenging Ricky Olds resentencing to 20 years to life. We argued that a mandatory life maximum sentence is unconstitutional as imposed on a juvenile who did not kill or intend to kill.

Further Reading

"Pittsburgher Ricky Olds, in prison since age 14, now free after serving nearly 40 years," Bob Mayo, Pittsburgh's Action News 4, 2/21/17

"The 14-Year-Old Who Grew Up in Prison," Marc Bookman, Vice, 7/20/2016


Case Number
127 WM 2016; 1772 WDA 2016
December 20, 2016
Pennsylvania Supreme Court; Pennsylvania Superior Court
State of Origin

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