In 2010, Quartavious Davis was arrested for armed robbery. It was his first offense, and thanks to a stiff sentence, it will be his last.
Davis was sentenced to 162 years without parole. Or in other words, life in prison.
“My first offense, and they gave me all this time… Might just as well say I’m dead.”
The Huffington Post reports that Davis was convicted for participating in a string of armed robberies in 2010. He carried a gun during the robberies and reportedly fired it at a dog. David did not, however, injure any person (or the dog) during the robbery.
Reuters reports that Davis’ lawyers are arguing that 162 years is “cruel and unusual” punishment for a first offense. The Supreme Court ruled recently that people under 18 can no longer receive life without parole. Unfortunately for Davis, he was 19 at the time of the crime.
Attorney Jacqueline Shapiro said:
“Just as the Supreme Court recently held that the Constitution bars taking away all discretion from judges in sentencing juveniles to life imprisonment for committing murder…. so also is it cruel and extreme to allow unfettered prosecutorial discretion to force a sentencing judge to impose a life sentence on a teenage first offender convicted of lesser charges.”
According to the NY Daily News, Davis was counted as an habitual criminal” due to a practice known as “stacking.” Each count against Davis was counted as a separate crime which allowed Davis to be seen as an habitual offender.
Michael Zelman, who represented Davis during the trial, said:
“Any law that provides for a mandatory term of imprisonment for a 19-year-old first offender that exceeds a century has got to be unconstitutional.”
Davis, who still maintains his innocence, was allegedly with five other men during the two month string of crimes. The other men were all able to cut plea deals, testifying against Davis, and receiving sentences from nine to 22 years.
Do you think first offenders should be able to receive life without parole?