A man who was 16 when he killed two people in 1988 in South Carolina originally received a life sentence without parole. However, a life sentence without parole for someone under 18 when a crime occurs has now been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and courts at the state level. Expert testimony suggests that the brains of people that young are not fully developed.
The man acknowledged that he killed a 22-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man in Chester County 30 years ago. His attorney suggested that he had been rehabilitated during his time in prison. However, the prosecutor in the case said that the man has a violent history that should be taken into consideration when debating a new sentence.
If an individual faces murder charges or charges involving other violent crimes, he or she may face significant penalties if convicted. In some cases, it may be possible for a defendant to spend the rest of his or her life in prison. Other penalties may include probation, a jail sentence or both. Those who are convicted of a crime may also face difficulties finding work or getting into school. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to consult with an attorney to dispute a charge or charges.
An attorney may be able to do this by asserting that an individual did not intend to commit a crime or was compelled to do so by another person. It may also be possible to argue that an individual is too young to face the maximum penalty a charge may carry. This may be enough to help a person receive a plea agreement.