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Man Sentenced to 241 Years As Teen Will Stay There After Supreme Court Rejects Appeal

Teens can make bad choices. Some teens can make very bad choices, and don't realize the long-term consequences their actions can have on themselves or on others. That's why the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that teens can't be sentenced to life unless they commit murder.

Unfortunately, SCOTUS forgot its own 2010 ruling, and recently refused to overturn a man's sentence of 241 years for a crime he committed at the age of 16.

Bobby Bostic was a troubled teen who committed several serious and violent crimes. In 1995, when he was 16 years old, he committed armed robbery and shot one of his victims.

The people were delivering Christmas presents when Bostic approached them and demanded the gifts at gunpoint. He shot one person and injured him, then stole a car and fled the scene.

At the age of 18, Judge Evelyn Baker, who had been on the bench for 25 years, sentenced the teen to 241 years. It was the longest sentence the judge had ever passed down. According to the sentence, Bostic won't be eligible for parole until he's 112 years old.

After the 2010 ruling, Bostic's attorney filed for an appeal. He petitioned the court that the 241-year sentence violates the Eight amendment, which prohibits 'cruel and unusual punishment'. The case went to the Supreme Court, but the conviction was not overturned.

When Bostic was 17, he had little remorse for what he had done. He wrote four letters to the judge in hopes of swaying her sympathies toward him, but they just ended up being the proverbial nails in the coffin. However, Bostic has lived and learned. A man now at 39, he regrets his crimes.

"I can't make excuses," he says. "I didn't even know what I was doing. I wasn't trying to kill the dude, or hit him. I can't make excuses for it. I shouldn't have done it, and I regret it."

He now tries to keep a low profile in prison. He reads a lot. He watches the news. He keeps to himself. he prays. He received his GED, took classes and started writing.

One thing that changed him was a victim's advocate class. "When I committed my crime, I never realized who my victims were, or what they were doing. The courses teach you how to put a face on the victims. They teach you empathy, and to realize they're people with rights," he explains. "You learn about the trauma they experience; how to help them heal. Knowing that my actions caused all this trauma, I took it more to heart. I took it personally. I created victims."

Even the judge who sentenced him was shocked by the ruling that denied Mr. Bostic a chance in life. Judge Baker retired 10 years ago, and says that Bostic's sentence is the only one she regrets in her entire career. "The amount of time is ridiculous," she admitted.

"From what I've read about Bobby and the things he's doing, he is not the 16-year-old little punk I sentenced," Baker says. "Bobby is a fully-fledged, responsible adult, who I think has shown true remorse for what he did, and an understanding of the wrongness of his actions."

It didn’t make a difference, however. The court’s reasons have not been made public, but Bostic is going to remain in prison.

Source: BBC
Photos: Change.org, KDSK Screenshot

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