Wyoming Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Review Juvenile Murder Sentence
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Wyoming Supreme Court decision to overturn a minimum 52-year prison sentence for a teen who, as a juvenile, shot and killed a man and injured several others in a Cheyenne park in 2014.
Last August, the Wyoming Supreme Court ordered Phillip Sam re-sentenced, saying his minimum 25-year sentence for first-degree murder followed by a 27-year sentence for aggravated assault effectively constituted a life sentence.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that juveniles cannot receive life sentences for murder without considering their level of maturity, their life circumstances and whether the offenses reflected "irreparable corruption."
Attorney General Peter Michael argued in his Jan. 4 petition that the practical effect of the state Supreme Court order would be that juveniles could commit additional crimes without additional punishment.