U.S. Supreme Court decision prompts resentencing for Adolfo Davis

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CHICAGO-- A man who was sentenced to mandatory life in prison as a teenager, Friday learned he’ll be resentenced and possibly freed because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

It’s on the court calendar. Adolfo Davis will be resentenced in the spring.

He was locked up at 14-yrs-old for a gang-related double murder. He’s spending two-and-a half decades in prison.

Now he’s being held in the cook county jail. And freedom is in reach.

Rachel Steinback, Davis’ attorney: “I think if there is ever a case of someone walking out with credit for time served it is Adolfo.”

In this status hearing Judge Angela Petron set an April re-sentencing date for Adolfo Davis.

Davis’s attorney Rachel Steinback now is preparing her witness list and will introduce evidence about Davis’ rough upbringing that wasn’t originally presented at his trial.

“We have a wealth of family friends and clergy who are all hoping to welcome him back into the community.”

Last year, I sat down with Davis at Statesville. He’s said he’s not the same boy who committed this crime back in the 1990.

Terry Sullivan, WGN Legal Analyst: “When he was found guilty, even as an accomplice he had to be sentenced to mandatory life.”

“Then the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 said it’s cruel and unusual punishment to have a juvenile sentenced to mandatory life.”

The Illinois Supreme Court is applying that high court ruling retroactively.

Meaning roughly 100 people in the state who’ve been serving mandatory life sentences since they were teens, now have the right to be resentenced.

It opens dozens of cases… witnesses will be called to testify.

Sullivan: “This could be like a mini trial by the time evidence comes about.”

Victims’ families will be notified.

“They might have to relive this thing all over again even though it was 20 years ago.” Sullivan said, “The court system is prepared to give each and every one of these people a new hearing and i don’t think it’s going to bog down the court system at all.”

In Davis’ case he’ll be up against the same prosecutor who put him away the first time: Jim McKay

“He tried this case so I’m sure there will be no stops he won’t pull out to attempt to get the same result that any states attorney would.”

“I think every sentencing is a tough go and particularly for a murder crime.”

Ultimately it’ll be up to the judge.

“Best case scenario and what we hope is that the judge decides Adolfo can walk out.”

That resentencing is now set for April 13th 2015.


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  • hilda garcia

    It was never proven that he fired his gun, but he was an accomplice. Nonetheless he’s been in prison 2 1/2 decades and its been proven by doctors that the mind of teenagers are not fully developed.
    He is now 37/38 years and probably doesn’t have the mindset he once did at the age of 14. People should be given second opportunities if they can prove they are no longer a threat to society.

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