PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled a 90-year prison sentence for a teen who killed a Rapid City convenience store clerk doesn’t violate his constitutional rights.
Carlos Quevedo argued his sentence for second-degree murder in the 2017 death of Kasie Lord was disproportionately harsh for a 17-year-old.
Quevedo, now 20, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for stabbing Lord 38 times after she tried to stop him and his friend from stealing beer from the store.
South Dakota law says the sentence for juveniles convicted of homicide may be a “term of years” and not life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Supreme Court unanimously decided this week the sentence did not violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
Quevedo is eligible for parole at the age of 62, the Argus Leader reported. Justice Mark Salter noted in the opinion that it is within Quevedo’s life expectancy.
“After considering the gravity of the offense and assessing the relative harshness of Quevedo’s sentence, we conclude that he cannot meet the initial requirement to show that his sentence is grossly disproportionate to his crime,” Salter wrote.
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