Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Thursday, June 22, 2017


We, the comrades of Unit 1012, are truly well aware that once the death penalty is abolished, the ACLU Demons will want to end LWOP.

            We, the comrades of Unit 1012: The VFFDP, DO NOT TRUST them at all and we know that they are nothing but liars who value the lives of murderers and evildoers, with the plan on putting innocent people’s lives at risk of getting murdered. These Anti-Death Penalty Activists are all the ACLU Demons.

            Judge Wendell Griffen is one example of them who is against LWOP and death penalty.


Judge Griffen strikes down law requiring life-without-parole sentences for juveniles
The Associated Press , KTHV
June 22, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas judge has struck down a new state law eliminating mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles, ruling that it denies individualized sentencing hearings to offenders who are in prison for offenses committed when they were minors.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled the law unconstitutional Thursday and ordered a new sentencing hearing for a man convicted of capital murder for a fatal shooting he committed when he was 16. The new Arkansas law was enacted this year to comply with recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that say mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional.            

The law allows minors who were given life-without-parole sentences to be eligible for parole after serving 20 to 30 years in prison, depending on the charges.
© 2017 Associated Press

Life-term ban ruled improper by Arkansas judge; law for minors falls short, he says
This article was published today at 4:30 a.m.

An Arkansas law enacted earlier this year to ban life-without-parole sentences for minors was struck down as unconstitutional Thursday by a Pulaski County judge who said it did not go far enough in removing mandatory sentences.

The deciding judge, Wendell Griffen of the 6th Judicial Circuit, is under investigation for his public outspokenness in April against the death penalty at the same time that he issued an order that threatened to halt the state's execution plans.

Republican lawmakers, who largely backed the Fair Sentencing of Minors Act, have already made their discontent with Griffen known, including public talk of impeachment.

Earlier this month, another judge in Pulaski County issued a separate ruling questioning the constitutionality of the law, Act 539, but declined to toss it.

That decision has already been put on notice of appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which is about to enter its annual summer recess.

Act 539 automatically made juveniles sentenced to life in prison eligible for parole after serving a minimum amount of time: 30 years for capital murder, and 25 years for first-degree murder.

For now, Griffen's ruling orders a new sentencing hearing for Brandon Hardman, who was sentenced in 2002 to life without parole for what prosecutors described as a "gang hit" when he was 16.

Hardman was one of 58 inmates in the state Department of Correction affected when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that juvenile life-without-parole sentences were unconstitutional, according to the attorney general's office.

Griffen said in his ruling that Hardman is entitled to have his new sentence determined by a judge or jury that will take an individual look at his case, not a law written by the General Assembly.

According to his ruling, Act 539 violates both the U.S. and Arkansas constitutions as well as the separation of powers between the branches of government.

"Here, again, the legislature overstepped its authority, as parole is a function of the executive branch, not an element of sentencing," Griffen wrote.

Lawmakers who had pushed for a juvenile resentencing law over the past three years said Griffen's ruling was not helping the effort.

State Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, said he was "shocked" to see Griffen toss changes for which he had unsuccessfully pushed in 2015. Its more recent sponsor, state Sen. Missy Irvin, R- Mountain View, said the ruling could delay parole hearings already scheduled for this summer.

"It's rather unfortunate," Irvin said. "There are individuals who have been sitting in prison waiting for Arkansas to pass this law."

The U.S. Supreme Court decision sparking the case, Miller v. Alabama, noted the lack of development in youths and said judges and juries should consider several circumstances before sending them away to the "harshest possible punishment."

The high court later said the ruling applied retroactively, and proposed that states could make former juvenile offenders eligible for parole, instead of resentencing them.
The Legislature scrapped a bill to end juvenile life-without-parole sentences in 2015, before passing Act 539 earlier this year.

By that time, some of the inmates affected by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling had already had their old sentences vacated in a series of state court decisions.

Five of those inmates were granted new sentencing hearings -- a departure from the guidelines of the act -- earlier this month by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herb Wright, who said they should be entitled to the considerations described in Miller, not the more recent state law.

But Griffen went a step further, declaring the law unconstitutional for any minor given a no-parole sentence, not just the ones who had their sentences vacated before the law was put in place.

Pulaski County prosecutor Josh Johnson had already submitted a notice to appeal Wright's decision. A spokesman for Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said Thursday her office is "evaluating how to proceed."

In addition to removing juvenile life-without-parole sentences from state statues, Act 539 also required "comprehensive mental health evaluations" for minors charged with capital or first-degree murder, and established new parole eligibility requirements for other offenses.

Griffen's ruling says the act is unconstitutional, but it does not exclude specific parts.
A Section on 06/23/2017
Print Headline: Life-term ban ruled improper; Judge says law for minors falls short

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