Supreme Court upholds Flint man's murder sentence - WNEM TV 5

Supreme Court upholds Flint man's murder sentence

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A Flint man will spend the rest of his life in prison after the Supreme Court of the United States upheld his murder sentence.

Patrick Kinney was 16-years-old when he stabbed another 16-year-old to death at a home on Montana Street in Flint on March 8, 1995.

Kinney plead guilty to second degree murder for the incident. He was sentenced to life in prison with the opportunity for parole.

After serving his minimum sentence, Kinney petitioned for parole but was denied by the Michigan Parole Board in 2011, the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office said.

Kinney filed a claim with the Michigan Court of Appeals arguing his sentence was unconstitutional under the 2012 Supreme Court ruling Miller v. Alabama.

In that ruling, the court held mandatory sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders.

The state's court of appeals rejected Kinney's claim in 2015. Kinney then filed a petition for the Supreme Court, which called for a response from Genesee County.

On March 20, 2017 the Supreme Court denied Kinney's petition and preserved his life sentence, the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office said.

“We have steadfastly maintained that Kinney’s sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole was not the same as life without the possibility of parole,” said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton. “Therefore, our legal position was that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Miller v. Alabama did not apply. We are pleased with today’s announcement by the U.S. Supreme Court with regards to Patrick Kinney."

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