DEKALB COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A man facing life without parole for a murder in DeKalb County wants a new sentencing hearing.
A recent US Supreme Court ruling says juveniles convicted of capital offenses can be given lighter sentences and are due a sentencing hearing, but prosecutors in the case of Richard Sharp Shelton argue it's too little, too late.
While not present in the courtroom Monday, attorneys for Shelton argued for a new sentencing hearing for him. Shelton was one of two men convicted in 2011 in the robbery and murder of Jerry Neal Burt at his Geraldine home.
The other man convicted, Billy Ray Justice, is serving two life sentences. Shelton was 17 at the time of the crime and was the shooter. Prosecutors said the Supreme Court ruling came the year after Shelton was sentenced and argued the law is not retroactive.
"I feel it's cruel and unusual punishment to give somebody a juvenile shot at a life sentence who is convicted now, and… not give that same chance to someone who happened to be convicted in 2011," said Shelton's attorney, Robert Ray.
The judge did not immediately rule and took the case under advisement.