Appeals court says teenage killer should get parole chance
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina appeals judges say a prisoner convicted of first-degree murder must have the chance to be released one day since he committed the crimes at age 17.
A state Court of Appeals panel said Tuesday that Montrez Benjamin Williams must be resentenced to life in prison with the possibility for parole for a pair of 2008 shooting deaths.
Williams initially was sentenced to life without parole, but U.S. Supreme Court decisions declared such mandatory sentences cruel and unusual punishments that could be handed down in part when determined that the youth’s rehabilitation was impossible.
A lower-court judge re-issued the same sentence to Williams in 2015, but the appeals court ruled the judge erred with the sentence when he determined there was “no certain prognosis” of Williams’ possibility of rehabilitation.