The New Hampshire Supreme Court has ruled four men sentenced to life in prison for murders committed when they were minors should get new sentencing hearings. The decision retroactively applies a 2012 US Supreme Court ruling that deemed mandatory life-sentences for juveniles cruel and unusual punishment.
It’s entirely possible that when Robert Dingman, Eduardo Lopez, Robert Tulloch, and Michael Soto get their new sentencing hearings they will again be given life without parole, but Gilles Bissonnette, an attorney with the New Hamsphire Civil Liberties Union, says what’s important is this time around that sentence won’t be mandatory. He says the judge will now be able to consider their youth as a mitigating factor.
“It reaffirms the principle that, as any parent knows and science has proven, children are different from adults,” he says, following the ruling.
Dates for new sentencing hearings for the convicted killers have not been set.