US court sets aside life sentences for Oklahoma offender

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A federal appeals court has set aside the life prison sentences of an Oklahoma prison inmate convicted of committing several violent crimes when he was just 16 years old.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down the decision Tuesday to 24-year-old Keighton Budder, who was convicted of first-degree rape and other charges in Delaware County.

Budder received three consecutive life sentences plus an additional 20 years in prison and must serve almost 132 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole.

But a three-judge federal appeals court panel says the sentence violates a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment forbids life-without-parole sentences for juvenile non-homicide offenders.

The appeals court remanded the case back to Oklahoma courts for resentencing.

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