Retired judge regrets sentencing teen to 241 years in prison, calls on Supreme Court to hear case

A former judge says she regrets giving a 241-year sentence to a teen who committed two armed robberies. Evelyn Baker, a retired Missouri circuit-court judge, wrote an op-ed published in The Washington Post Tuesday saying she wants the United States Supreme Court to overturn her 1997 ruling against Bobby Bostic.

“You will die in the Department of Corrections,” Baker told Bostic during sentencing.

The writ of certiorari filed in this case described the crimes and charges:

At the age of 16, Bostic and another boy robbed a group of people at gunpoint, Baker said in the letter. During the robbery, two people were shot, and received minor injuries. Following the robbery, the pair forced a woman into her car and drove off, robbing her before letting her go. The boy with Bostic sexually assaulted the woman before letting her go.

After police arrested the boys, Bostic was charged with 18 counts stemming from both incidents. A jury found him guilty of eight counts of armed criminal action, three counts of robbery, three counts of attempted robbery, two counts of assault, one count of kidnapping, and one count of possession of marijuana, Baker said.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
The Supreme Court Building is pictured in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2017.

“Bostic had written me a letter trying to explain his actions, but despite this, he had not, in my view, demonstrated sufficient remorse,” Baker wrote in the letter. According to the writ of certiorari, Bostic wrote several letters to the court prior to sentencing. In these writings, he apologized for his actions and explained he felt remorseful despite his lack of emotions during proceedings.

“I told him, ‘You are the biggest fool who has ever stood in front of this court. .?.?. You made your choice. You’re gonna have to live with your choice, and you’re gonna die with your choice. .?.?. Your mandatory date to go in front of the parole board will be the year 2201. Nobody in this room is going to be alive in…

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