Statement by Robert Saleem Holbrook in response to the PA Supreme Court Denial of Retroactive Relief of Miller v. Alabama

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision today denying relief to juveniles sentenced to LWOP prior to the United States Supreme Court’s June 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama exposed to the entire world what human rights advocates and prisoners have known all along, and that is that the law in Pennsylvania is not based on justice, it is based on politics. In denying relief to over 400 prisoners sentenced to LWOP as juveniles the Court’s Justices split along party lines, with the Conservative Justices carrying the day thanks to the deciding vote of Justice Stevens, a conservative appointed to the bench by Republican Governor Tom Corbett. By denying justice to over 400 prisoners in Pennsylvania sentenced to LWOP as juveniles based along party lines and political motives, the Conservative wing of the Court has created an entire class of “political prisoners” in Pennsylvania, who will continue fighting for their human right to be free from grossly disproportionate punishment. History and justice will be on our side, while the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s conservative wing’s actions standing in the way of progress now places its members in the ranks of this country’s most notorious obstructionists as they resemble modern day segregationists attempting to block the march of justice. Like the old segregationists, they will lose this battle.