State v. Lane, 251 N.J. 84 (2022)


J. John Kim filed a brief with the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of amicus curiae ACDL-NJ, arguing that mitigating factor fourteen, which considers that a “defendant was under 26 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense,” should be given pipeline retroactivity because the legislative change was initiated “to reduce the penalty for an offense,” which is a recognized justification for the retroactive application of a statute. Ultimately, the Court held that mitigating factor fourteen is to be applied prospectively and declined to grant pipeline retroactivity. Justice Barry T. Albin concurred in part and dissented in part. In his dissent, Justice Albin agreed with our position, noting that “in those cases where the defendants’ sentencing appeals were pending when the new law took ‘effect,’ prospective application does not and should not foreclose the Appellate Division from considering whether, in a particular case, the failure of a trial judge to consider a defendant’s youth as a mitigating factor resulted in a clearly excessive sentence.”

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