“Might as well say I’m dead” – afro-american Teen gets 162 years for non-violent crime

ONE comment in: Yvonne August 2, 2014 at 8:34 pm ILOVEBLACKPEOPLE.

“Florida is ‘Hell’ for are black kids and men such a shame to be sentenced to {162}yrs is the most harshest sentence a non violent person can get. Prime example {Marissa Alexander}60 yrs for firing a warning shot….The Sunshine State! Nota State.For.Blacks at all.”  so sad

“Might as well say I’m dead” – Teen gets 162 years for non-violent crime

Posted on August 2, 2014 by in , with 2 Comments

teenApril V. Taylor

Despite recent efforts to reduce the number of prisoners serving ridiculously long sentences that essentially relegate inmates to dying in prison, it is still happening, and the case of Quartavious Davis is a perfect example of how sentencing can go terribly wrong.  The Huffington Post reports that Davis has been sentenced to 162 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

There are many factors about Davis’s case  that make his sentence harsh and unjust.   He was a first time offender,  and at the age of 18, if had he been just a few months younger, would have qualified under a recent ruling to not receive a life sentence.   Davis also has  multiple learning disabilities as well as bipolar disorder.

Another thing that makes the sentence unwarranted is that Davis did not harm anyone.   He was convicted of a series of armed robberies in Florida, and accomplices testified that he did discharge a weapon at a dog that chased them during one of the robberies, but even the dog was unharmed.  One of the contributing factors that makes Davis’s long sentence possible is what is known as ‘stacking’,  which allows each individual count of an indictment to be counted as a separate crime which allows a  first time offender like Davis to be considered a ‘ habitual offender’ who can be sentenced to multiple sentences under mandatory sentencing guidelines.

Regarding his sentence,  Davis states “Might as well just say I’m dead.”  Davis’s attorney, Jacqueline Shapiro, is arguing that his sentence is ‘cruel and unusual punishment,’  stating ” Just as the Supreme Court recently held that the Constitution bars taking away all discretion from judges in sentencing juveniles to life imprisonment for committing murder, so also is it cruel and extreme to allow unfettered prosecutorial discretion to force a sentencing judge to impose a life sentence on a teenage first offender convicted to lesser charges.”

Those who committed the crimes with Davis all cut plea deals and received sentences that ranged from 9 to 22 years.  They also testified against Davis, allowing prosecutors to throw the full weight of the law against him.  While U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wilfredo Ferrer believes that Davis’s sentences is a reflection of his office’s commitment to combat violent crime, Davis’s sentence would not have been possible in many other states as Florida has some of the harshest mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the country and leads the nation in the number of juveniles sentenced to life without parole.  Davis’s original court appointed attorney Michael Zelman, who resigned from the case when it went to appeal, states, “Any law that provides for a mandatory term of imprisonment for a 19-year-old first offender that exceeds a century has got to be unconstitutional.”  If Davis’s new attorney, Shapiro, has her way, Davis’s fate will ultimately be decided on by the Supreme Court and is currently being appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta….



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