- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A Pierre man sentenced to life without parole for killing a cab driver two decades ago when he was 14 is set to be re-sentenced because of a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that banned mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles.

A two-day re-sentencing hearing begins Thursday in Fort Pierre for Paul Dean Jensen Jr., who was convicted of murder, kidnapping and other offenses for the 1996 slaying of Michael Hare.

Here are some things to know about the case:

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THE KILLING

Prosecutors have said Jensen and Shawn Cameron Springer, who was 16 at the time, hailed Hare’s cab to drive them out of town and then robbed him of $36.48 before shooting him to death. Prosecutors said Jensen shot Hare once in the chest, listened to Hare plead for his life on his knees and then shot him two more times in the head.

The South Dakota Supreme Court upheld Jensen’s convictions and sentences in 1998, with the justices saying the punishment fit the crime. Springer was sentenced to 261 years in prison after pleading guilty to kidnapping, and a judge in 2013 refused to reduce Springer’s sentence.

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U.S. SUPREME COURT RULING

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 said life sentences without parole for juveniles cannot be automatic but left open the possibility that judges could still sentence juveniles to life without parole after considering the circumstances of each case.

The 5-4 decision split along ideological lines, with the court’s four liberals and swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy joining to order states and the federal government to allow judges and juries to consider a juvenile’s age when they hand down sentences for some of the harshest crimes.

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JENSEN’S ARGUMENT

Acting as his own lawyer, Jensen filed a 28-page, mostly handwritten motion in July 2013 asking that his sentence be declared illegal so he could be resentenced. He also asked that a lawyer be appointed to represent him in the case. Jensen said that the U.S. Supreme Court and various studies have found that 14-year-olds are immature, impulsive and susceptible to pressure from others, and that they also are more likely than older criminals to be rehabilitated.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley argued that the Supreme Court ruling did not apply retroactively.

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RE-SENTENCING GRANTED

Circuit Judge John Brown in December 2013 granted a resentencing hearing for Jensen, saying he felt compelled by the Supreme Court ruling. Jensen’s attorney, Jeff Larson, argued that the case involves correcting the sentence, not changing the conviction.

Stanley County State’s Attorney Tom P. Maher said Jensen’s sentence was lawful in 1996 and remains lawful. Neither could be reached for comment ahead of Thursday’s hearing.

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