Legal groups seek shorter sentence for man convicted in gang rap - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Legal groups seek shorter sentence for man convicted in gang rape of YSU student

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Brandon Moore Brandon Moore
COLUMBUS, Ohio -

A host of lawyers and legal rights organizations are throwing their support and expertise behind an effort to shorten the prison sentence of a man convicted of taking part in the gang rape of a Youngstown State University student when he was 15-years-old.

On Monday, seventeen organizations filed briefs with the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of 28-year-old Brandon Moore, who is serving a 112 year sentence in the Marion Correctional Institution.

According to court testimony, Moore abducted and robbed a 21-year-old Youngstown State University student in 2001.

Moore, who was 15 years old at the time, then drove the victim to a secluded location where he and his accomplices repeatedly raped the woman orally, vaginally and anally. After the victim was freed, she reported the license number of a car involved in the crime to police who arrested the suspects.

Moore was convicted of rape, complicity, kidnapping and aggravated robbery.

In 2002 Mahoning County Judge R. Scott Krichbaum sentenced Moore to 141 years in prison, which was later reduced to 112 years upon appeal.

Barring any judicial release, that sentence would keep Moore incarcerated for 99 more years. If he survived, Moore would be 107 years old before he is eligible for parole.

Moore lost another challenge to his punishment before an appeals court, and now has taken his case before the Ohio Supreme Court, arguing that the 112 year sentence violates the provision of the U.S. Constitution prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment.

Defense lawyers say that the U.S. Supreme Court has issued three decisions finding that when compared to adults, “children are less culpable and more capable of rehabilitation, and that those differences make it cruel and unusual to impose the most severe sentences upon children.”

The Mahoning County Prosecutor has yet to file a response to the briefs filed Monday, but when Moore first filed his appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court, assistant prosecutor Ralph Rivera wrote. “ (the) Defendant is essentially advocating that no matter what cruel and heinous offenses that a juvenile commits, he should be rewarded with an opportunity for early release so that he may live out his days as a free man.”

Below is a list of advocacy and legal organizations that filed briefs supporting Moore’s appeal:

Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth

Campaign for Youth Justice

Center for Children's Law and Policy

Children's Law Center, Inc.

Coalition for Juvenile Justice

Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition

Criminal Law Scholars

Juvenile Justice Initiative

Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana

Juvenile Law Center

National Association of Counsel for Children

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

National Center of Youth Law

National Juvenile Defender Center

National Juvenile Justice Network

Office of the Ohio Public Defender

San Francisco Office of the Public Defender

 The Ohio Supreme Court has not set a date to hear arguments in the case.

 

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