HARTFORD, Conn. – The state Supreme Court has ordered a new sentencing hearing for a man sentenced to life in prison for a murder he committed as a minor. But the court left up to the legislature to decide whether similarly situated offenders should be granted parole hearings.
In a decision published Friday, the court ordered another sentencing hearing for Ackeem Riley, who was convicted of a revenge-motivated drive-by shooting in 2006. At the time of the murder, Riley was seven months shy of his 18th birthday. Two of the justices dissented.
In his appeal to the state Supreme Court, Riley’s lawyers cited two U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have changed how courts look at sentences imposed on young offenders. The majority of Connecticut justices applied one of those decisions, called Miller, to Riley’s case. That will result in a new sentencing hearing, in which Riley’s age at the time of the murder will be considered as a mitigating factor.
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