Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

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Petitioner-appellant Keighton Budder was convicted by an Oklahoma jury of several violent nonhomicide crimes committed when he was sixteen years old. After sentence modification on direct appeal, he received three life sentences and an additional sentence of twenty years, all to run consecutively. He was not be eligible for parole under Oklahoma law until he served 131.75 years in prison. Budder filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus, arguing his sentence violated the Eighth Amendment. In support, he cited “Graham v. Florida,” (560 U.S. 48 (2010)), which held that sentencing juvenile offenders who have not committed homicide crimes to life in prison without a meaningful opportunity for release was unconstitutional. The district court denied Budder’s petition, and he appeals. The Tenth Circuit reversed and remanded with instructions to grant Budder’s petition. The Court found under the categorical rule clearly established in “Graham,” Budder’s sentence violated the Eighth Amendment. “The [Oklahoma Supreme Court’s] judgment was contrary to this clearly established Supreme Court precedent. Accordingly, we reverse and remand with instructions to grant Budder’s petition for writ of habeas corpus, to vacate Budder’s sentence, and to direct the State of Oklahoma to resentence Budder within a reasonable period.” View "Budder v. Addison" on Justia Law