Dozens seek new sentencing in SC juvenile cases

01 August, 2017, 22:58 | Author: Clint Gray
  • Lee Boyd Malvo enters a courtroom in the Spotsylvania Va. Circuit Court. Malvo plead guilty and was sentenced to two life sentences for the murder of Kenneth

Bryant has filed a petition challenging his life-without-parole sentence.

In light of Supreme Court decisions banning life without parole for juvenile offenders, dozens of Colorado prisoners who committed crimes as minors could be eligible for release, but only one has been freed. He won't be eligible to seek parole until he serves 90 years, which his attorneys say amounts to a life sentence. "It takes it out of the hands of the Legislature and puts it in the hands of the judge".

The state is still wrestling with how to handle offenders who killed multiple victims as teenagers and are now serving more than one life sentence.

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The state attorney general's office countered that the now 40-year-old Taylor would likely again face a no-parole sentence, since the trial judge described him as "the ringleader" who carried a loaded gun, demonstrating "intent, premeditation, and deliberation".

The proposal also would have allowed juveniles to be eligible for a shot at parole after serving 15 years when their crimes didn't result in the death of someone. Lawmakers have yet to hold hearings on the bill.

The U.S. Supreme Court has been clear and consistent: In successive decisions over more than a decade, the justices said the harshest punishments levied against adult criminal offenders are unconstitutionally cruel and unusual when imposed on juveniles.

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Ricky Zuber was sentenced for his role in two gang rapes to 110 years in prison with 55 years of parole ineligibility. He was sentenced to 75 years with no parole eligibility for 68 years, three months. The rulings say juveniles are different because of poor judgment based on their age, their susceptibility to negative influences and their greater capacity for change.

The rulings affect five men sentenced to life in New Hampshire.

New Jersey's Department of Corrections doesn't keep track of how many inmates are serving lengthy "de facto" life terms for crimes committed as juveniles, but Shalom said the number is "in the double digits".

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