Washington, D.C. and Detroit
The fallout begins.
Court ruling offers inmates rare chance at freedom
DETROIT (AP) — The Supreme Court ruling that banned states from imposing mandatory life sentences on juveniles offers an unexpected chance at freedom to more than 2,000 inmates who have never been able to seek release and had virtually no hope that their prospects would change.
Virtually all of the sentences in question are for murder. When Henry Hill was an illiterate 16-year-old, he was linked to a killing at a park in Saginaw County and convicted of aiding and abetting murder.
Hill had a gun, but he was never accused of firing the fatal shot. Nonetheless, the sentence was automatic: life without parole. He’s spent the last 32 years in Michigan prisons.
“I was a 16-year-old with a mentality of a 9-year-old. I didn’t understand what life without parole even meant,” Hill, now 48, said Tuesday in a phone interview.
And now he has the maturity of a 12-year old.
He heard about the Supreme Court decision while watching TV news in his cell.
“I got up hollering and rejoicing and praising God,” said Hill, who used to renovate homes for a living. He would like to go back to his old trade and be a mentor to children. “The last three or four years, they always put young guys in with me.”
“Used to renovate homes for a living” when he was 16 years old?
With the way some people deify the Supreme Court, he wasn’t too far off to “praise God.”
The rest of the article brings up an angle I didn’t consider — These juvie lifers will have to get new sentencing hearings, which means the families of the victims will have to go through that all over again.
Oh, and don’t worry about it. They’ll be back in prison before too long. Hopefully the crime they pull which puts them back where they should have remained all along won’t be against some innocent person.