The Associated Press reports that the state of Missouri is defending the 241-year prison sentence it gave to a 16-year-old for committing robbery and other crimes. The defendant was convicted of 18 total crimes and won’t be eligible for parole until the age of 112.
Missouri’s State Attorney General says the sentence does not violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. This is because the 2010 ruling stating that life sentences for defendants under the age of 18 when murder wasn’t involved are illegal only applies in cases where one crime was committed.
However, the original sentencing judge disagrees with the AG, and believes the sentence in unjust. This judge is also supporting the man’s appeal to the Supreme Court. Now 39, Bobby Bostic has served more than 20 years of his sentence.
A total of more than 100 current and former judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers are asking the court to overturn the sentence.
In 1995, Bostic and Donald Hutson, who was 18 at the time, robbed six people who were delivering gifts to the needy. They shot a gun at two victims and injured one of them. Afterward, the boys carjacked a woman and she was robbed and fondled by Hutson. They then threw their guns in a river and bought marijuana with the money they stole.
There is no calendar for when the Supreme Court may decide to hear Bostic's appeal.
*Photo credit Missouri Department of Corrections