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Posted on May 5, 2016 at 1:25 PM


"Juvenile's Life Sentence At Issue In Appeals Court Conflict Panel

In light of a previous ruling that granted some juveniles facing life without parole the right to have their sentences determined by a jury, the state Court of Appeals will hold oral arguments this month to address a conflict created in another juvenile offender's case.

The COA announced today it would convene a special panel for oral arguments to address the conflict between the cases People v. Kenya Ali Hyatt and People v. Skinner.

The Skinner case, decided by a split COA in August 2015, granted juveniles convicted of homicide facing a life sentence without parole a right to a sentencing determined by a jury (See "COA: Juveniles Facing Life Without Parole Have Right To Jury Sentence," 8/21/15).

In Hyatt, Kenya Ali HYATT was sentenced to life without parole for offenses committed at age 17. The COA ruled in January that Hyatt must be resentenced so that a jury can determine whether he should receive life in prison without parole, citing Skinner.

But, the COA also said that were it not for Skinner, "we would affirm the sentencing court's decision to sentence Hyatt to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole," and thus declared a conflict with Skinner.

The oral arguments are set for 10 a.m. May 18. The special panel includes Judge Douglas SHAPIRO presiding, and judges Jane MARKEY, Patrick METER, Jane BECKERING, Cynthia STEPHENS, Michael KELLY and Michael RIORDAN.

The Hyatt case is No. 325741 and the Skinner case is No. 317892"

As a future State Rep in District 3 I am aware of a Supreme Court Ruling that sought to overturn mandatory life sentencing for those under the age of 18. It has always seems to be odd to me why no young adults have challenge the local parentis aspect of the law that says they are grown at 18 and responsible for their actions, but they cannot buy liquor until they are 21 years of age. Either one is responsible at 18 or they are not! Since the Supreme in a way agrees that a minor at 17 should not be sentenced like an adult. I am a conservative Democrat. I believe in fiscal responsibility and being tough on crime. However, I had a friend who at the age of 18 committed felony murder. Since this time he has become a model prisoner-really, but he can never be paroled-according to the law. I would argue that anyone under the age of 21 who commits a felony murder should be sentenced to no less than 30 years and no more than 40 years behind bars and obviously the law should be rewritten that one is not an adult until they are 21. This may even help with juvenile delinquency in mandating compulsory education-not to 16 but to 20 years of age.

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Reply dorothycooper578
1:44 AM on July 16, 2016 
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8:57 AM on August 19, 2016 
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