My client was involved in three armed robberies which happened over the course of two days. In addition, his brother, who was a co-defendant, ended up getting shot by the police. You'd think that these were bad guys, but they weren't. All three of the co-defendants were still in high school, and the two brothers of my clients were doing very well. My client is a soft-spoken, sweet kid, who I don't think really understood the gravity of his situation until this morning. He always knew in the abstract, but today it all became real.
The Judge sentenced him to serve 15 years in prison. At the age of 18. It is an entirely fair sentence for three armed robberies committed in less than 48 hours. But it seems like such a waste. Here, there is no parole, there is no good-time credit, there is no early release for armed robbery.
He will be 33 when he walks out the doors of the prison, finally a free man. He will have lost the entire decade of his twenties. He had plans to go to college following high school, which now will not come to fruition. He will not know living in the dorm, all of the tangled social webs that are woven in freshman and sophmore year. He will not know football games, he will not play in the school's marching band, which was his dream.
A few instances of extremely poor judgment have led to him missing the heart of his youth.