Juvenille Offenders Serving Life Terms Get Another Shot at Freedom
Updated: Saturday, March 29 2014, 01:07 AM CDT
Inmates in Illinois who committed crimes when they were juveniles could soon see their sentences shortened. It comes after the Illinois Supreme Court called for these inmates to be re-sentenced. News correspondent Chris Minor tells us this move of early release is one that has some victims' families concerned.
"Torture. it is torture, what they put us through."
Dora Larson has been crying all day.
"Darnell, he's wired wrong. He wasn't a child. He was a murderer."
Scott Darnell, the man who killed her daughter more than 30 years ago, could catch a break now because he killed as a teenager.
"We fought for so long to keep Darnell behind bars, and now with the Supreme Court decision, he's going to be re-sentenced, and we'll have to go through it all again,"
says Dora Larson, mother of Vicki Larson.
Vicky Larson was 10 years old when she was abducted, raped and murdered in the small town of Andover.
Darnell, now gray and 50, was 15 at the time.
He is serving life in prison without parole.
Illinois' supreme court ruling means Darnell and about 100 other inmates, who killed while they were juveniles, get a re-sentencing and a shot at a shorter term.
"No family should have to go through this. No other family. But what is going to happen if he gets out? He'll do it again, Chris. I know in my soul he'll do it again."
Henry County prosecutor Terry Patton says he's prepared for the re-sentencing, and says there's no way Darnell will ever be a free man.
"This is not a crime of immaturity. This is a crime of pure evil and you can't cure evil. You can't grow out of evil. He was evil then, he's evil today. He needs to stay in prison for the rest of his life," Terry Patton says.
Larson can't believe she'll be back in a courtroom, 35 years later, but says the kid who killed her daughter is now the man who deserves to be locked up for life.
"I will do everything in my power to make sure he doesn't get out. Everything. And, truthfully Chris, it's the last thing I can do for Vicky."