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Supremes: New Sentences For All Juveniles Serving Life

Ammodramus via Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Supreme Court is ordering new hearings for juvenile offenders sentenced to life without parole. 

LaishaLandrum will get a new sentencing hearing for her 2004 second degree murder conviction.  She was sixteen when she committed the crime.  But public defender Maureen Surber explains the ruling reaches farther than just Landrum.

“Now everybody who did second degree murder or another crime where they ended up with a life without parole sentence can file a motion and they should be entitled to be resentenced if they committed the crime as a juvenile,” Surber says.

Surber says the state has already begun new hearings for juveniles who got a mandatory life sentence.  Florida’s district courts had refused new hearings in a number of other cases because the original life sentence was imposed at the discretion of the judge rather than automatically.  

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.