JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A lawsuit is accusing Missouri’s prison system of illegally not giving young offenders special consideration during parole hearings.
The lawsuit filed last week by the MacArthur Justice Center is asking a Cole County judge to declare the state’s parole hearing procedures unconstitutional when it comes to inmates who committed their crimes as juveniles.
The lawsuit is on behalf of Eric Gray, who’s serving a seven-year sentence for manslaughter and a 25-year term for armed criminal action linked to a 2009 fatal shooting in St. Louis.
Gray was 16 at the time of the shooting and last summer was denied parole after a brief hearing. He won’t be considered for release again for several more years.
A Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman said Tuesday the department doesn’t discuss pending litigation.