Ala. Supreme Court changes sentencing for juveniles convicted of

Ala. Supreme Court changes sentencing for juveniles convicted of capital murder

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
L-R: Rashad Stoves, Artavius Underwood and Reginald Mims 2012 booking photos. Source: BPD L-R: Rashad Stoves, Artavius Underwood and Reginald Mims 2012 booking photos. Source: BPD
MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) -

Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court re-visited the question of whether a juvenile convicted of murder should be eligible for parole.

The issue stems from a quintuple homicide that happened in January 2012. That's when Birmingham police charged Rashad Stoves, Artavius Underwood and Reginald Mims with capital murder in the deaths of five men. This charge typically means a defendant cannot be eligible for parole.

But the attorneys for two of those defendants filed a motion saying the capital murder indictments should be dismissed against their clients. They claim the statue is unconstitutional when applied to juvenile defendants after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

After a denial of the motion by an appelate court, the attorneys appealed the case to the Alabama Supreme Court. Friday, the court denied the request to dismiss the capital murder indictments.

What the courts did do is look at the sentencing portion of the state's capital murder statute and amended it. Now, a judge can consider sentencing a juvenile convicted of capital murder with the possibility of parole.

Still, attorney Wendell Sheffield says the ruling doesn't address the matter they gave arguments for.

"The court came down and basically said it has the inherent power to come in and save the statute by giving the interpretation it did. And it's our position, they did the job of the legislature," he said.

Sheffield says he and his staff are reviewing the ruling as they determine whether to appeal it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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