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Old 06-01-2020, 06:02 PM
enigmaingr enigmaingr is offline

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Michigan, USA
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At 19, your boyfriend was not a juvenile. I know many of us come to see 18-21 year olds as old kids, but the reality is that in the criminal justice system, 19 is definitely "adult"; you're practically middle-aged by your early 20s compared to most states' prison population; and by the time you're in your 30s, you're an old man / woman.

That said, I would agree that your boyfriend must start really thinking about increasing his parole chances. I assume by your post that your boyfriend went to trial and lost; short of evidence supporting actual innocence, I don't know if any remaining appeal options will be fruitful.

Appeals are complex, and in many states, you must raise all issues from the start, and cannot re-litigate issues that you've already raised on appeal, leaving you with essentially newly discovered information or changes in the law.

It does not really matter that he was sentenced disproportionately to others who happened to be convicted of the same crime but were not a part of this case. He might have an argument if he got significantly more than a co-defendant, particularly if he was less culpable. But even that depends on whether any co-defendants took pleas.

Aside from the standard advice to "find an attorney that specializes in your area and issue", I would say when it comes to appeals, find and talk with several before deciding to shell out money. Your boyfriend may already have a copy, and if so, you should ask to see the trial transcript, if you haven't already read it; particularly if you personally didn't attend the trial. Read it close and with an open eye, trying to put yourself in the jury's seat. An appeal lawyer is going to need that and is effectively limited to the evidence and arguments presented during trial, so if you're willing to put up the money, you absolutely should see that for yourself before deciding to pay an attorney and possibly go into debt.
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