Jan 07 2014

Why 15 Year Old Travion Blount Got More Than 6 Life Sentences for A Crime Where No One Was Hurt

Travion Blount is a young man currently serving six life sentences plus 118 years in prison without parole. No, he did not commit multiple murders. In fact, he did not kill or injure a single person. The African American was part of an armed robbery in Norfolk, Virginia seven years ago. He was only 15 years old.

It all started when Blount and two of his friends decided to rob a group of teenagers at a house party. The three young men had partygoers surrender their cell phones, money and marijuana at gun point and were caught almost immediately by police.

The two 18 year olds who were Blount’s accomplices accepted plea deals and received sentences of only 10 and 13 years each. But Blount decided not to plead guilty and went ahead with a trial. The Virginia judge in his case issued one of the harshest sentences ever handed down to a juvenile in the United States for a non-violent offense.

Blount, who is now 23 years old, is asking for a conditional pardon from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell after serving six years at a maximum security prison. McDonnell will finish his term in office on January 10th and advocates are hoping that he will grant Blount clemency as one of his final acts of pardon.

Meanwhile, one of the Steubenville, Ohio rapists, a 16 year old high school football player named Ma’lik Richmond was released yesterday on good behavior after serving only nine months of a one year detention sentence.

GUEST: Marc Schindler, Executive Director of the Justice Policy Institute

Click here to sign a Change.org petition to Virginia Gov. McDonnell to pardon Travion Blount.

Visit the Justice Policy Institute at www.justicepolicy.org

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