Man Waits for Shot at Freedom 2 Years After Landmark Ruling - NBC Connecticut
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Man Waits for Shot at Freedom 2 Years After Landmark Ruling

After nearly a half-century behind bars, a 71 year old Louisiana man is still waiting for a parole hearing that could set him free

    Winter Olympics PyeongChang 2018 Medal Count
    Country
    Total
    1
    Norway
    13141037
    2
    Canada
    108927
    3
    Germany
    137626
    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    10 Ways to be Heart-Smart This National Heart Month
    John Boss/The Advocate via AP, File
    In this February 1964 file photo, Henry Montgomery, flanked by two deputies, awaits the verdict in his trial for the murder of Deputy Sheriff Charles H. Hurt in Baton Rouge, La. A landmark ruling by the nation's highest court gave Montgomery his first chance at freedom after nearly a half-century behind bars. Two years later, the 71-year-old Louisiana man is still waiting for a parole hearing that could set him free. Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, is the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Montgomery's favor.

    A landmark ruling by the nation's highest court gave Henry Montgomery his first chance at freedom after nearly a half-century behind bars. Two years later, the 71-year-old Louisiana man is still waiting for a parole hearing that could set him free.

    Thursday is the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Montgomery's favor. The decision enabled roughly 2,000 inmates to argue for release after receiving mandatory life-without-parole sentences as juveniles.

    Louisiana's parole board delayed a hearing on Montgomery's parole request from Dec. 14 to Feb. 19. The board is waiting for a legal opinion from Louisiana's attorney general on how many board members must hear Montgomery's case. Under Louisiana law, a three-member panel is required for juvenile parole hearings, while at least five members are required for a parole hearing when a violent crime was committed against a law enforcement officer.

    Montgomery was 17 when he killed Charles Hurt, an East Baton Rouge sheriff's deputy, in 1963. He was initially was sentenced to death after a jury convicted him. After the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled he didn't get a fair trial and threw out his murder conviction in 1966, Montgomery was retried, found "guilty without capital punishment" and automatically sentenced to life without parole.

    Pigeon Beauty Contest Held in Iraq

    [NATL] Pigeon Beauty Contest Held in Iraq

    More than 300 trumpeter pigeons competed in an Iraqi beauty contest. It’s the first of its kind in the country, according to pageant organizers.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018)

    The Supreme Court decided in 2012 that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional "cruel and unusual" punishment. The justices made their decision retroactive in Montgomery's case.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy said prisoners like Montgomery "must be given the opportunity to show their crime did not reflect irreparable corruption; and, if it did not, their hope for some years of life outside prison walls must be restored."

    The decision ushered in a wave of new sentences and the release of inmates from Michigan to Pennsylvania, Arkansas and beyond. But other former teen offenders are still waiting for a chance at resentencing in states and counties that have been slow to address the court ruling, an Associated Press investigation found. In Michigan, for example, prosecutors are seeking new no-parole sentences for nearly two-thirds of 363 juvenile lifers.

    A state judge who resentenced Montgomery to life with the possibility of parole said in June that he's a "model prisoner" who appears to be rehabilitated