Life Could Change Soon For Convicted Killer
A man who is not yet 70 may have his life change very soon after a ruling by the United States Supreme Court.
Henry Montgomery works in the gym at Angola, and he has served 50 years so far for killing a sheriff's deputy in 1963 when he was 17-years-old. Montgomery was convicted of murdering Sheriff's deputy Charles H. Hunt
How could Montgomery's life change? Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 ruling that continues a 2012 ruling that disallows automatic life sentences with no chance of parole for killers who are teenagers when they commit their crimes.
The ruling means that even teenagers who were convicted years ago must get a shot at parole, or they must be given a new sentence.
This current case stems from the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in the 2012 Miller versus Alabama where the justices ruled that these life long sentences for juveniles violates the protections carried under the eighth amendment to the constitution which protects from cruel and unusual punishment. They say juveniles are different as their brains are not fully developed when they have committed a crime of this nature.
The ruling means that some 2,000 people across the country, and close to 300 hundred in Louisiana will now likely be eligible for parole at the least, and granted new trials in the extreme.
According to the ibtimes.com, Montgomery was originally given the death penalty, but the Louisiana Supreme Court later reduced the sentence to life in prison as, according to ibtimes.com, " it was widely believed that Montgomery didn’t get a fair trial in the racially charged atmosphere of the South at the time.
Thelensnola.org reports that Henry Montgomery's attorney from 50 years ago believes his client was "a slow learner". Attorney Johnnie Jones, who is now 95-years-old, says he old client has an IQ in the low 70's.
We will talk to Montgomery's court-appointed attorney tomorrow morning on "Acadiana's Morning News" with Bernadette Lee and Brandon Comeaux. Mark Plaisance will join us to talk about the decision, and what it means for his client, tomorrow at 8:10 a.m.
Montgomery's lawyer, public defender Mark Plaisance, tells KPEL he is "obviously very excited about the ruling."
He says this is a hugely important decision for all juvenile offenders who have been incarcerated for life.