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Homicide

Court upholds life sentence for 14-year-old killer

Court upholds life sentence for 14-year-old killer

An appeals court has upheld the life-without-parole term that a 14-year-old Easton killer received last year at resentencing, and it declined to add heightened protections at sentencing for juveniles convicted of murder. In May 2014, Northampton County Judge Michael Koury Jr. handed Qu'eed Batts a new life sentence — the same penalty the now 24-year-old inmate received in 2007 after being convicted of a gangland shooting that killed one teen and wounded another. Batts got a new sentencing after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that it is cruel and unusual punishment to give juvenile killers mandatory life-without-parole terms, as Pennsylvania law guaranteed for murders of...

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