Michigan prosecutors are seeking to keep more than 200 juvenile lifers behind bars despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says the punishment should be limited to the rarest of cases.
One of those lifers, Kevin Boyd, was 16 when prosecutors say he plotted with his mother to kill his father. He says he’s changed – and now at 40, he’s hoping for a second chance. The government disagrees and wants him to spend the rest of his life in prison.
In Oakland County, north of Detroit, Boyd is among 44 of 49 juvenile lifers prosecutors are seeking to keep locked up for life. At the heart of those cases lies a central question: Who is and is not irredeemable? Some experts are looking to the high court for clarification.
This combination of 2001 and 2017 photos provided by the Michigan Department of Corrections shows inmate Kevin Boyd. In Oakland County, north of Detroit, Boyd is among 44 of 49 juvenile lifers whom prosecutors are seeking to keep locked up. Their cases won’t be heard until the Michigan Supreme Court rules next year whether judges or juries will make the decisions. (MDOC via AP)
This combination of family photos shows Kevin Boyd with his father, Kevin Sr., and mother, Lynn. Kevin was 16 in August 1994 when, according to prosecutors, he and his mother, Lynn, hatched and carried out a plot to kill his father, who was stabbed more than 20 times and beaten with a baseball bat. The couple were divorced. Boyd maintains he wasn’t at the crime scene, but he knew his mother’s plans, told her when his father would be sleeping in a chair and gave her keys to get into his apartment. She was convicted in a separate trial. (Courtesy Kevin Boyd via AP)
This undated photo provided by attorney Deb LaBelle in October 2012 shows Kevin Boyd. Michigan prosecutors say Boyd is one of the juvenile lifers who should never walk free again. When the U.S. Supreme Court banned mandatory no-parole sentences for juveniles in 2016, it didn’t completely eliminate the punishment, but said it should be confined to “the rarest of children” whose crimes reflect “irreparable corruption.” In Michigan, prosecutors have applied that definition to nearly two-thirds of its juvenile lifers _ about 235 inmates _ according to Deb LaBelle, a defense attorney who is among many who believe that decision flouts the high court’s ruling. (Deb LaBelle via AP)
This undated photo provided by Christine Pearson in December 2017 shows her and her boyfriend, inmate Kevin Boyd. A juvenile lifer, Boyd points to his two-decade prison record as evidence of his rehabilitation. He earned a high school equivalency diploma, completed several vocational programs, worked as a painter, a tutor and sanitation worker and hasn’t had a misconduct violation in 15 years. “I’ve demonstrated no violent behavior,” he says. “I’ve had no substance abuse issues. … I am not even a reflection of who I used to be.” (Courtesy Christine Pearson via AP)
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