More than 1000 prisoners tried as juveniles and sentenced to life in prison maybe eligible for parole.
That’s after a landmark decision by the Supreme Court Monday.
In Baton Rouge at least 16 prisoners serving life behind bars can have a re-sentencing hearing and possibly be eligible for parole if they prove they’re rehabilitated.
“A lot of these folks are older now having served 20,30,40, 50 years in jail so do I think those folks pose a significant risk- no,” said East Baton Rouge District Attorney, Hillar Moore.
Monday the Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 in favor of 69-year-old Henry Montgomery over the state of Louisiana.
Montgomery, who was given a life sentence at 17-years-old for the murder of an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s deputy argued he was rehabilitated and should be eligible for parole.
“Disappointed by the decision, respect the decision, will follow the decision obviously, there will be no appeal to this decision,” said Moore.
Moore feels the Baton Rouge cases will reopen wounds for family members of victims and will be a challenge.
“So now I am going to try and find victims’ families from 20-30, 40, 50 years ago, try to find officers, reports, documents, look at other things these prisoners have done, while incarcerated. It’s a huge undertaking,” said Moore.
More adds the cases will be costly.
It’s not clear how much taxpayers could foot.
The other concern, are theses prisoners changed men?
Most people we spoke with say they think juvenile offenders can be rehabilitated later in life.
But Moore says he’s concerned about how the decision will impact future juvenile offenders.
“Someone is 16 and they kill and found guilty in juvenile court they serve till their 21st birthday. It’s very frustrating this opinion is to me is what the message is it gives to young folks, and the message it gives to older more hardened criminals to say maybe I will employ a young kid to do my dirty work,” said Moore.