Colorado judge: Juvenile sentencing law unconstitutional
October 16, 2017
DENVER — A Colorado judge has ruled that a law allowing convicts serving life without parole for crimes committed as juveniles to seek reduced sentences is unconstitutional.
Arapahoe Chief District Judge Carlos Samour Jr. found the 2016 law gives preferential treatment to 16 offenders convicted of felony murder. The Denver Post reports they are eligible for reduced sentences of 30 to 50 years.
Samour ruled that 34 other convicts serving life without parole aren’t entitled to similar sentence reductions under the law.
Samour ruled in a case filed by Curtis Brooks, who was sentenced in 1997 to life in prison without parole after his conviction for felony murder.
Defendants can be charged with first degree murder if someone dies in the commission of a felony, such as burglary or robbery.