Plea Deal Frees Prisoner but Prolongs Battle Over JLWOP Retroactivity

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George Toca, sentenced as a teen to life without parole in 1985  has been released from a Louisiana prison after Orleans Parish prosecutors allowed him to enter an Alford plea, leading to the vacation of his previous sentence. Toca’s case has been at the center of the ongoing legal battle to determine the retroactivity of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling in Miller vs. Alabama. According to SCOTUS Blog Toca’s case had been scheduled to be heard by the court this year and would have addressed retroactivity at least in Toca’s case. “Over the past year, the Court has several times turned down the same plea that it agreed to hear in Toca’s case. If that case should now be taken off the docket…it is unclear whether the Court would take on the issue in another case.” Get more details at The Times Picayune.

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