In a recent decision, The United States Supreme Court has decided that “the Eighth Amendment forbids a sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without possibility of parole for juvenile offenders.” This decision continues the trend of the Supreme Court showing some leniency toward juveniles. The court has previously decided that juveniles cannot be sentenced to death, and that juveniles cannot be sentenced to life without parole for non-homicide offenses.
This decision affects one case from the past in Stevens County. That is the case of William Lembcke. He was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to life without parole for the murder of his family in 2001. The evidence showed that the crime was premeditated and particularly brutal.
This new Supreme Court decision means that since the sentence he received could very well have been unconstitutional, it is likely that the defendant will get an attorney appointed and file a Personal Restraint Petition and try to get resentenced. That will probably take more than a year to get through the courts once it starts. He will then most likely appeal that new sentence and start a whole new round of appeals in the appellate courts.
Locally, on Friday July 20, Isaac Holmes pled guilty to a charge of DUI. Judge Tviet listened to the facts of the DUI and learned that this was a one car accident. There were no passengers in the car when it left the road. Trooper Karre investigated and found empty beer cans throughout the vehicle and could observe that Mr. Holmes was obviously intoxicated. Mr. Holmes refused to be tested either by breath or blood.
The state presented the prior alcohol offense history which consists of; a 2003 conviction for Minor Operating a Vehicle After Consuming alcohol; a 2004 conviction for Minor in Possession of alcohol; a 2006 conviction for Boating Under the Influence; conviction in 2008 and 2009 for DUI and finally a 2010 conviction for Physical Control.
After hearing about this DUI and of Mr. Holmes prior record, Judge Tviet sentenced Mr. Holmes to 364 days in jail.