Attorneys and judges around Pennsylvania are still thinking through the ramifications of the Jan. 25 Supreme Court ruling Montgomery v. Louisiana, which made the ban on mandatory life-without-parole sentences for youth retroactive. There appears to be some clarity in at least on jurisdiction.
A Chester County judge recently resentenced Earl Rice Jr. to a sentence of “time served with the possibility of parole.” Rice has been in prison for 42 years and may soon appear before the parole board.
Rice Jr. was convicted of first degree murder in September 1973. According to court records, he and another youth snatched a woman’s purse as she walked down a sidewalk. As the purse was pulled from her hands, the woman reportedly spun around and fell, hitting her head on the sidewalk. She later died from the injuries.
The case is one of the first in Pennsylvania to move toward a remedy under Montgomery. Pennsylvania has some 500 juvenile lifers, more than any state. Below is the order from court docket in Rice Jr.’s case. We’ll keep an eye on this case.