On June 26, 2017, in a unanimous decision to bamboozle the public in the Batts II case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices have released another duplicitous ruling against the fair and humane sentencing of children who have been convicted of murder. On the one hand, the court gave the benign appearance of providing procedural safeguards against the imposition of Life Without Parole (LWOP) sentences on child offenders, while on the other hand, it spitefully and vindictively authorized trial courts to impose not only illegal sentences of 35 years-to-life on child offenders, but also to impose sentences greater than 35 years-to-life on them!
Yes, you heard it right! The PA Supreme Court’s Batts II case decision explicitly allows trial court judges to fashion the minimum term of incarceration using the guidance of the juvenile murder statute (law) section 1102.1(a) of the criminal code. It also allows the trial court judge to impose a minimum sentence greater than the 35 years-to-life provided in section 1102.1(a)! Perhaps 45 years-to-life!
Basically, the PA Supreme Court justices’ duplicitous decision states that our Pennsylvania courts will provide procedural safeguards against imposing LWOP sentences on child offenders, but our trial courts will also impose the harshest prison terms of 35 years or 45 years as they possibly can against child offenders to undermine the spirit of the Miller vs. Alabama decision!
The PA Supreme Court’s Batts II decision is like giving a child a lollipop, then turning around and giving the child a hard kick in the buttocks!
The PA Supreme Court’s decision in the Batts II case is not a win for the 500-plus child lifers in Pennsylvania awaiting re-sentence, or future child offenders.
In fact, the public and all human rights activists should be totally outraged at the PA Supreme Court justices insulting their intelligence in the Batts II decision and by their attempt to urinate on our heads and convince us that it is raining.
From the Belly of the Beast, at Prison Radio, I am Shakaboona.