Missouri defends 241-year prison sentence for 16-year-old

3 months 6 days 7 hours ago Friday, March 16 2018 Mar 16, 2018 Friday, March 16, 2018 7:29:00 PM CDT March 16, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Missouri is defending a prison sentence for a man who committed robbery and other crimes on a single day when he was 16 and now isn't eligible for parole until he's 112 years old.

State Attorney General Josh Hawley says in a U.S. Supreme Court filing that defendant Bobby Bostic's 241-year sentence for 18 crimes does not violate the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Hawley says a 2010 Supreme Court's ruling that outlawed life sentences for people under 18 who didn't kill anyone applies only to a sentence for one crime.

The former St. Louis judge who sentenced Bostic disagrees. She now believes the term is unjust and is backing Bostic's high-court appeal. There's no timetable for when the justices will decide whether to hear his case.

Now 39, Bostic has been in prison for more than 20 years.

State and federal courts around the country have ruled differently about whether young people convicted of crimes can be sentenced to prison for terms that the American Civil Liberties Union, representing Bostic, said "exceed their life expectancy."

The retired judge, Evelyn Baker, is among more than 100 current and former judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers who are calling on the Supreme Court to throw out the sentence as grossly unfair. Among those supporting Bostic are former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr, and former Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr.

In December 1995, Bostic and 18-year-old Donald Hutson robbed a group of six people who were delivering Christmas presents for the needy, the ACLU said in its appeal on Bostic's behalf.

They fired a gun at two victims, grazing one and missing the other, Hawley said in Missouri's brief. The robbers then carjacked a woman and Hutson robbed and fondled her before releasing her, according to the ACLU's brief. The two men threw the guns in a river and used the money to buy marijuana.

Hutson took a plea deal and got 30 years. Bostic went to trial and lost.

At Bostic's sentencing, Baker said, "You made your choice. You're gonna have to live with your choice, and you're gonna die with your choice because, Bobby Bostic, you will die in the Department of Corrections."

Later, she said, "I feel nothing for you. I feel the same thing for you that you apparently felt for those victims and you feel for your family."

But in an essay published in the Washington Post in February, Baker wrote, "Scientists have discovered so much about brain development in the more than 20 years since I sentenced Bostic. What I learned too late is that young people's brains are not static; they are in the process of maturing."

The Supreme Court has used essentially the same reasoning in barring life sentences for juveniles who didn't kill anyone and in throwing out mandatory life terms for people who kill before they turn 18.

The ACLU wants the court to apply the 2010 ruling to Bostic.

But Hawley, in the state's brief filed Thursday, said there are several reasons the high court should not disturb the Missouri court rulings upholding the sentence. Among them was that the 2010 Supreme Court ruling doesn't apply to Bostic because he "was sentenced to multiple, consecutive terms in prison for committing multiple crimes, and who will be eligible for parole in great old age."

Hawley is seeking the Republican nomination to take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in one of the nation's most closely watched races this year.

More News

Grid
List
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Immigration enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border was plunged deeper into chaos over President Donald Trump's... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:52:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign around five bills Friday. The governor's office has not yet... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:17:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- More than 30 children attending a summer camp in Florida were taken to the hospital Thursday after they... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 7:12:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - Authorities said a Gravois Mills woman died in a one-vehicle car accident near Laurie, Missouri. According... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide campaign encourages expecting mothers to monitor their infant's movement in the womb. The Missouri... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - After months of tension between citizens and city officials, the city council met for the first time... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:30:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Police in Auxvasse posted a warning on Facebook Wednesday about unlicensed salesmen in the area, but the company... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:15:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - 1 and 6 males are sexually abused by the time they are 18. For the first time... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is changing some of its rules and regulations to offer more leave and layoff... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Supreme Court ruling that allows states to charge online retailers sales tax has Columbia businesses rejoicing. ... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:18:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge has decided in favor of University of Missouri graduate students who want to unionize. The... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:37:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE – A man accused of killing a Moberly woman five years ago was found guilty of murder in the... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON - Gov. Mike Parson met with President Donald Trump Thursday to discuss Missouri's top priorities. “I appreciate President... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:51:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri mental health advocates showed up at a meeting Thurday to voice their concerns about budget cuts... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:32:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Although "Shwe Market International Foods" mainly sells Asian products and "Chihuahua Mexican Market" Hispanic products, both stores have... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has appointed Latha Ramchand as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. She was dean... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man and woman Wednesday after a reported robbery with a gun earlier in the week.... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 12:00:35 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
PINEVILLE (AP) — A husband and wife from southwestern Missouri have been ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution for cashing... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:22:42 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
11am 69°
12pm 70°
1pm 72°
2pm 74°