Appeal from the 263rd District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 1411883
consists of Justices Boyce, Busby, and Wise.
William J. Boyce Justice
Matthew Payam Shalouei was convicted of capital murder and
automatically sentenced to life in prison with the
possibility of parole after 40 years. The issue in this
appeal is whether certain Texas statutes that mandate a
minimum sentence for juveniles convicted of a capital crime
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals previously has determined
that an automatic life sentence for a juvenile convicted of a
capital crime does not violate the juvenile's
constitutional rights if there is a possibility of parole.
Although the Court of Criminal Appeals did not specifically
consider in its decisions the constitutionality of certain
statutes challenged by appellant, the court's holdings
necessitate a finding that the related statutes likewise are
constitutional. Accordingly, we affirm.
the course of a robbery, appellant shot and killed the
individual he was robbing. A jury convicted appellant of
capital murder. See Tex. Penal Code Ann. §
19.03(a)(2) (Vernon Supp. 2016). Because he was 17 years old
at the time of the murder, appellant received a mandatory
sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole
after 40 years' time served. See Tex. Penal Code
Ann. § 12.31(a)(1) (Vernon Supp. 2016); Tex. Gov't
Code Ann. § 508.145(b) (Vernon Supp. 2016).
filed a motion to declare certain penal code and government
code statutes facially unconstitutional as violating his
Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.
See Garza v. State, 435 S.W.3d 258, 262 (Tex. Crim.
App. 2014) (Eighth Amendment individualized sentencing claims
are not forfeited on appeal by failure to object at trial).
The trial court denied the motion. Appellant timely appealed.
review the facial constitutionality of a criminal statute
de novo. Ex parte Lo, 424 S.W.3d 10, 14
(Tex. Crim. App. 2013). We presume the statute is valid and
that the legislature did not act arbitrarily or unreasonably
in enacting it. Rodriguez v. State, 93 S.W.3d 60, 69
(Tex. Crim. App. 2002); Matthews v. State, Nos.
14-15-00452-CR, 14-15-00577-CV, 14-15-00616-CV, 2016 WL
6561467, at *10 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] Nov. 6, 2016,
pet. filed). To prevail on a facial challenge to a statute,
the challenging party must establish that no set of
circumstances exists under which the statute would be
constitutionally valid. State v. Rosseau, 396 S.W.3d
550, 557 (Tex. Crim. App. 2013).
single issue, appellant contends that the mandatory
sentencing nature of Texas Penal Code section 12.31(a)(1) and
Texas Government Code sections 508.145(b) and (d)(1) violates
the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment under
the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Appellant contends that those statutes are facially
Penal Code section 12.31(a)(1) sets a mandatory punishment
for juveniles convicted of capital murder:
An individual adjudged guilty of a capital felony in a case
in which the state does not seek the death penalty shall be
punished by imprisonment in the Texas ...