Defendant is entitled to have the determination of his sentence made after a faithful application of the Aiken factors.
We reverse and remand for reconsideration under the standards laid out by our supreme court.
Defendant appealed the result of a resentencing hearing required by our supreme court’s decision in Aiken v. Byars, 410 S.C. 534, 765 S.E.2d 572 (2014), arguing that the circuit court erred by sentencing him to life without parole without finding that he was irreparably corrupt; did not properly consider the “hallmark features of youth” in its decision; improperly rejected his argument that he could be rehabilitated because of his relative youth at the time of the crime; faulted him for not overcoming the circumstances of his upbringing; and erred in finding that his youth did not hinder his ability to present a defense in his original trial.
In 2003, defendant and two co-defendants were indicted for the murder of the victim and for conspiracy. Defendant was 17 years old at the time of the victim’s death. The jury found defendant guilty of murder. The court sentenced defendant to life in prison without parole. We affirmed in an Anders appeal.
The resentencing court sentenced defendant to LWOP again. The court stated that it was “extremely concerned by the cold-blooded nature of the killing and the fact that [defendant] has shown little to no signs of rehabilitation.” The court also said that it had “carefully and deliberately considered all the factors as outlined in Aiken v. Byars” before reaching its decision.
Among other things, defendant argued that the resentencing court did not adequately consider whether his crimes were affected by “the chronological age of the offender and the hallmark features of youth, including ‘immaturity, impetuosity, and failure to appreciate  risks and consequence[s.]’” Aiken, 410 S.C. at 544, 765 S.E.2d at 577 (quoting Miller, 567 U.S. at 477). We agree. The resentencing court’s order addresses defendant’s age only as a chronological fact and does not seem to consider the “hallmark features of youth” at all. As a result, the court erred by failing to adequately consider whether defendant’s crimes were affected by his chronological age and the hallmark features of youth.
Second, defendant argued that the resentencing court erred in its interpretation of the Aiken factor concerning a defendant’s home life. Again, we agree, as the resentencing court’s order failed to show a meaningful consideration of the evidence about defendant’s home life.
Because we reversed based on the inadequate consideration of the hallmark features of youth and defendant’s upbringing, we do not need to address defendant’s remaining challenges to the resentencing court’s order. We remanded for the resentencing court to consider all of the Aiken factors.
Reversed and remanded.
The State v. Mack (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-080-23, 17 pp.) (John D. Geathers, J.) Appealed from Florence County Circuit Court (William H. Seals Jr., J.) Kathrine Haggard Hudgins, of Columbia, for appellant; Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Melody Jane Brown, Senior Assistant Attorney General W. Edgar Salter, III, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Edgar Lewis Clements, III, of Florence, for respondent. South Carolina Court of Appeals