EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cyntoia Brown & the "51-To-Life" Project: South Dakota

This is the forty-second in a series of posts on the "51-To-Life" Project. In Tennessee, if a juvenile is convicted of first-degree murder, there are two sentencing options: (1) life without the possibility of parole; or (2) life with the possibility of parole, with that possibility only existing after the juvenile has been incarcerated for 51 years. In this post, I will explain why South Dakota treats juvenile homicide offenders better than Tennessee.  

South Dakota Codified Laws Section 22-6-1 states in relevant part that

If the defendant is under the age of eighteen years at the time of the offense and found guilty of a Class A, B, or C felony, the maximum sentence may be a term of years in the state penitentiary, and a fine of fifty thousand dollars may be imposed.

Therefore, South Dakota does not allow for juvenile life offenses for Class A felonies, including first-degree murder. As a result, South Dakota treats juvenile homicide offenders better than Tennessee.

-CM

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/evidenceprof/2018/01/this-is-the-forty-second-in-a-series-of-posts-on-the-51-to-life-projectin-tennessee-if-a-juvenile-is-convicted-of-first-deg.html

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