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Friday, November 16, 2012

WIsconsin Upholds Life Without Parole for 14 Year Old

WI Upholds Life Without Parole for 14 Year Old By Jeralyn, Section Juvenile Offenders Omer Ninham was 14 when he was part of a group of kids that killed a 13 year old by throwing him off the top of a parking garage. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Wisconsin Supreme Court today upheld the sentence. The opinion is here. The defense argued: Ninham mounts a categorical constitutional challenge, arguing that sentencing a 14-year-old to life imprisonment without parole is cruel and unusual in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 6 of the Wisconsin Constitution. In the alternative, Ninham seeks sentence modification on the grounds that (1) his sentence is unduly harsh and excessive; (2) new scientific research regarding adolescent brain development constitutes a new factor that frustrates the purpose of the sentence; and (3) the circuit court relied on an improper factor when imposing the sentence. --------------------------- Michigan Judge Sentences 15 Year Old to Life Without Parole By Jeralyn, Section Juvenile Offenders Posted on Tue Oct 26, 2010 14 year old Dakota Eliason shot and killed his grandfather. He said he went back and forth for hours debating whether to kill him or commit suicide, and decided to on the former. The DA charged him in adult court. Monday, a Michigan judge imposed a sentence of life without parole, finding it violated neither the Constitution nor international treaties. He rejected a sentence of life with parole saying the law didn't authorize it. His opinion is here. His lawyer disagrees: “Anyone that's spent any time around that kid will tell you he's a loving kid, certainly at his point, people that don't know him are defining him by the one terrible thing he did but he does have remorse he does wish he could take it back,” said defense attorney Lanny Fisher.

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