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California Supreme Court: 110-year sentence for juvenile violates the law

California State Seal - Supreme court

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The California Supreme Court has overturned a 110-year sentence for a Los Angeles teen.

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that when it comes to crime, children are different than adults. They're less able to understand their actions, more able to reform their ways, and are therefore less culpable for their actions.

Thats why in a case called Graham v. Florida, the court decided kids could not be sentenced to life without parole, except in murder cases, even though adults can receive the sentence for a variety of crimes.

But what about sentencing them to really, really long terms?

That issue came up in a case out of Los Angeles County, in which a 16-year-old shot at three rival gang members, wounding one in the shoulder. 

Rodrigo Caballero was convicted of three counts of attempted murder and sentenced to three consecutive terms. That meant Caballero would first become eligible for parole after 110 years in prison. Caballero appealed his sentence, arguing it violated the Graham ruling, which "holds that the Eighth Amendment requires the state to afford the juvenile offender a 'meaningful opportunity to obtain release.'"


California Supreme Court throws out death sentence for killer of Dave Navarro's mother

Dave Navarro

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The California Supreme Court reversed the death sentence for man who killed Dave Navarro's mother.

On Monday, the California Supreme Court reversed the death penalty for a man who killed two women, one of them the mother of Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. The Court upheld John Alexander Riccardi's conviction for double murder, but dismissed the death death sentence because of a legal error during jury selection.

According to the court, in 1983, Riccardi stalked and killed former girlfriend Connie Navarro, after failing to come to terms with the end of their relationship. Riccardi, also allegedly a regular house burglar, repeatedly broke into Navarro's home, at one point even allegedly handcuffing her son, Dave, while he rifled through her personal items. After threatening her a  number of times, Riccardi shot and killed Navarro and her friend, Susan Jory, at Navarro's home. He fled town the day after, eventually moving to Texas, applying for a passport under another name, and having plastic surgery to remove a mole and shorten his nose.