Arkansas Seeks To Uphold Sentence In 1995 Slaying

May 8, 2014

The Arkansas Supreme Court is to decide whether to toss a sentence of life in prison without parole for a man who was apparently 17 years old when he played a role in a 1995 murder in West Memphis.

The court heard arguments Thursday in which a lawyer for Ulonzo Gordon said a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling blocks Gordon from serving his full sentence because he was a juvenile at the time of the slaying.

During trial, prosecutors had a document showing Gordon was 18, but attorney Jeff Rosenzweig says Gordon's birth certificate shows he was 17.

The trial judge granted Gordon's request for a new sentencing hearing, which the Arkansas attorney general's office appealed, arguing that Gordon was legally sentenced.

The high court will issue its decision later.