O.C. teen gets life in prison for murder committed when he was 14

November 5, 2011 at 3:32 pm Leave a comment

The LA Times states

“A Santa Ana teenager was sentenced Friday to 40 years to life in prison for a fatal shooting he committed when he was 14.

Andrew Cervantes, now 15, was tried as adult and will begin his sentence at the California Youth Authority before being transferred at age 18 to state prison.

Prosecutors said Cervantes shot Manuel Orozco, 17, on June 22, 2010, after a gang-related confrontation in Santa Ana.

Cervantes and his friend, Jose Baldemar Moreno, 15, rode their bikes by Orozco, a rival gang member, who was sitting in a parked car. One of the defendants made a hand gesture toward Orozco, who got out of the car and called out to the younger men. An argument erupted, and Cervantes pulled out a gun and shot Orozco in the chest.

Orozco died at the scene, two doors down from his home. Cervantes fled to Stockton, where he was later arrested.

In September, a jury found Cervantes guilty of second-degree murder and street terrorism.

Moreno, who was also prosecuted as an adult, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to three years in custody”

The reality is that the sentence should not to be fourty to life. The person’s age is too you to mitigate a 40 year to life sentence. WIth a state sentencing commission, the sentence will be moved to especially mitigated second-degree murder and the sentence would be eight years. Part of the sentence is an insane provision in the California places a 25 to life sentence for a use of gun.

There are state with provisions that give you life without parole for just committing second-degree murder (South Dakota and Louisana), but I never heard of a state making the enhancement for the crime results in a longer sentence than the base sentence.

In reality, the enhancement should not have applied and the ability to use a life sentence should be nullified due to the age of the defendant. He should have received a 15-year sentence (more like eight years) and that would have been proper justice. In British and Canadian systems, he would have still could have to gotten a life sentence, but would have to do 10-12 years minimum term. There are laws in those countries that have internal controls to prevent excessive sentencing by judges for crimes committed when somebody 16 and under

Not allowing the kid being tried as a adult would be travesty of justice, but also it is travesty to justice to give a 40 to life sentence for a person that is only 14 years old when they commit the crime. There is a middle ground that provides equitable sentencing and also ensures that the person receives a term of years in the state prison.


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