Law
12:10 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Court: No review of sentences for current juvenile lifers

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down mandatory life sentences for juveniles convicted of murder does not apply retroactively.

The case involved a resentencing request for Raymond Carp. In 2006, Carp was convicted of first-degree murder as a 16-year old.

Jonathan Oosting of MLive has more:

The Michigan Court of Appeals today denied a resentencing request for Raymond Carp, 21, who is serving a mandatory term of life in prison without the possibility of parole for a first-degree murder conviction when he was 16.

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year ruled that such mandatory sentences are an unconstitutional form of cruel and unusual punishment that do not take into account a young person's potential for cognitive and character development.

"Cruel and unusual punishment" is part of the U.S. Constitution's 8th amendment.

The case could be appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Jake Neher reported earlier this week that there "are nearly 360 Michigan prisoners condemned to life sentences in Michigan while they were minors."

Carp's lawyer, Patricia Selby, argues the U.S. Supreme Court decision does apply retroactively:

“We think because this involves something as significant as the 8th amendment, that it should apply, and that it’s basically telling the courts they have to take a whole new look at people in Mr.Carp’s position.”