Arkansas court sets new sentencing hearing for young killer - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas court sets new sentencing hearing for young killer

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court says a man sentenced to life in prison for a capital murder committed when he was a teenager deserves a new sentencing hearing.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court said sending juvenile offenders to prison forever was a cruel punishment. Arkansas legislators have since made such inmates eligible for parole after 30 years, but Derrick Harris says Arkansas justices had ruled in another case that penalties for Class Y felonies should apply: they're as low as 10 years.

Justices ruled Thursday that the Legislature's decision to make inmates eligible for parole after 30 years cannot be applied retroactively and ordered a new sentencing hearing for Harris, who was convicted in Drew County.

Two justices dissented. Justice Shawn Womack said Thursday's decision "likely opened the prison doors."

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly