August 21, 2012 By Wallin & Klarich

Wallin & Klarich’s experienced juvenile defense attorneys in Orange County inform you that in a victory for juveniles who commit crimes in our state, the California Supreme Court decided it was “cruel and unusual punishment” to convict a juvenile to a lengthy prison sentence without providing the juvenile with an opportunity to convince the court he should be given a parole date.

Currently the law in California allows juveniles who commit serious crimes to be sentenced to hundreds of years in prison. This means that they have no chance to ever be released from custody.

In this specific case, the accused was convicted of attempted murder of three rival gang members. He was sentenced to 110 years in prison. He would have to serve about 93.5 years in prison, which means a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Luckily the Supreme Court said that every juvenile facing a lengthy prison sentence can now petition the sentencing judge and ask the court to provide a date by which he/she will be eligible for parole.

This new ruling brings some “common sense” to our justice system. Juveniles who commit serious crimes should be severely punished. However, to sentence a 16 year old to 110 years in prison for “attempted murder” means that the juvenile has no chance to rehabilitate himself. It also means that the taxpayers will have to pay for incarcerating this young man for the rest of his life.

Thank God the highest court in our state has decided that we cannot just lock up teenagers and throw away the key.

Please let us know your thoughts about this topic.

Wallin & Klarich’s team of experienced juvenile defense attorneys in Orange County has over 30 years of experience defending minors accused of serious crimes throughout Southern California. If you or a loved one is currently facing criminal charges in Southern California, contact Wallin & Klarich today at 888-280-6839. We will be there when you call.

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