Life Without Parole for Juveniles in Texas
In a move that surprised no one, the Texas Court if Criminal Appeals upheld the life without parole sentence for a juvenile convicted of murdering to San Antonio friends in 2006. The vote was split 7-2 , which in itself is at least a glimmer of hope, and was made despite the fact that Texas no longer allows the sentencing of juveniles to life without parole.
As usual, the Court of Criminal Appeals held to its belief there are only two types of error in criminal convictions, harmless and none, in finding that the youth's Constitutional rights were not violated.
According to In a dissenting opinion, Judge Lawrence Meyers said the court should have ordered new punishment hearings for Meadoux and other juvenile offenders jailed before the law was overturned.
"It's ridiculous to say that a juvenile who was not even eligible for the death penalty" should receive a harsher no-parole sentence, Meyers wrote in the dissent, joined by Judge Cheryl Johnson.
In 2005, the Texas Legislature voted to let jurors choose life without parole or execution for capital murder, but it was amended to ban no-parole sentences for those who committed murder while younger than 18.
And the Texas justice system rolls along, business as usual…