Attorney: Man Sentenced as Teen to 6 Life Terms Deserves Pardon

Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 07:05 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Travion Blount of Virginia was sentenced to six life terms plus 118 years for committing an armed robbery when he was 15 in 2006, but his attorney John Coggeshall says that Blount deserves a second chance.

"He did something really stupid," Coggeshall told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV Thursday. "He listened to two older boys, essentially adults, and they robbed a house party, they got $70 and three joints. Nobody was physically hurt."

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He explained that the two other boys, who were 18, agreed to plea bargains, but Blount wanted to go to trial.

"The jury found him guilty, and the judge sentenced him to what most of us consider is the harshest sentence any juvenile has ever gotten for a non-homicide crime," Coggeshall said.

"Yes, the kid was on the wrong side of the tracks, but nobody deserves that, nobody," he added.

The Virginia attorney explained that although Blount's sentence was harsh, it was "perfectly legal."

However, "in 2010, the United States Supreme Court came out with a case called Graham vs. Florida, groundbreaking," Coggeshall explained. "It said that non-homicide juveniles cannot be sentenced to life without a meaningful chance of release."

However, he said that in Virginia, there's a law that says convicts have a chance to be released when they turn 60.

"Since Virginia has that meaningful chance of release, Mr. Blount stays where he is," he explained.

Before former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell left office in early 2014, "he commuted Mr. Blount's sentence to 40 years."

However, that commutation was overturned by a judge in early August.

"The problem is that the Virginia Constitution says a governor cannot commute a sentence if it's a non-capital sentence," Coggeshall said. "Meaning the only sentences a governor can commute in Virginia is somebody who kills somebody."

The Virginia attorney says that now he is back in federal court and plans to ask for a conditional pardon from current Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.


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