Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department C
October 17, 2013
STATE OF ARIZONA, Respondent,
JOSEPH LEE CONLEY, Petitioner.
Not for Publication – Rule 111, Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court
Petition for Review from the Superior Court of Maricopa County Cause No. CR2004-035015-001 The Honorable David K. Udall, Judge
Joseph Lee Conley Tucson Pro Se
¶1 A jury convicted petitioner Joseph Lee Conley of first degree murder and two counts of burglary. The superior court sentenced Conley to natural life for murder and concurrent terms of seven years' imprisonment for both counts of burglary. This court affirmed his convictions and sentences on direct appeal in State v. Conley, 1 CA-CR 07-0542 (Ariz. App. Jan. 2, 2009) (mem. dec.). Conley now seeks review of the summary dismissal of his successive notice of post-conviction relief pursuant to Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.9(c). This court reviews the summary dismissal of a notice of post-conviction for abuse of discretion. State v. Watton, 164 Ariz. 323, 325, 793 P.2d 80, 82 (1990).
¶2 In his petition for review, Conley argues he is entitled to be resentenced to less than natural life pursuant to Miller v. Alabama, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012). Conley argues Miller constitutes a significant change in the law and prohibits the imposition of natural life for juvenile offenders. Conley committed the offenses just before his eighteenth birthday. Miller did not ban the imposition of sentences to life without the possibility of parole for juveniles. Rather, Miller held mandatory sentences of life-without-parole for juvenile offenders violated the Eighth Amendment. Id. at 2464. Because Conley's sentence to natural life was not mandatory, he has failed to state a colorable claim for relief.
¶3 For these reasons, this court grants review of Conley's petition for review and denies relief.
RANDALL M. HOWE, Presiding Judge, PATRICIA A. OROZCO, Judge, SAMUEL A. THUMMA, Judge