Supreme Court: 2 Colorado Men Serving Life Could Be Re-Sentenced

June 1, 2015

Two men serving life in prison without parole will have the chance to be re-sentenced after a Colorado Supreme Court ruling issued Monday.

Michael Tate and Tenarro Banks are among 48 inmates in Colorado serving mandatory life without parole sentences for crimes they committed as juveniles. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, those sentences are unconstitutional and amount to cruel and unusual punishment. 

The Colorado Supreme Court granted Tate and Banks, and those on direct appeal, a chance to be re-sentenced to either life without parole or life with parole after 40 calendar years. Defense attorneys contend that's a de facto life sentence. 

The court also considered two other similar cases, involving Erik Jensen and Frank Vigil. It ruled that since Jensen and Vigil aren't on appeal, they're not entitled to be re-sentenced.  

In the opinion, the state's high court suggested the state Legislature should act on the issue. 

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