Rulings on juvenile life sentences affect 3 in South Dakota

July 31, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A national debate over juvenile life without parole is real for three inmates in South Dakota.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 banned mandatory life without parole for juvenile killers and last year made its ruling retroactive. State lawmakers in 2016 went further, prohibiting any life term for minors.

Three so-called juvenile lifers have been resentenced in South Dakota.

Paul Jensen killed a cab driver in 1996 and received concurrent terms of 200 years. He’s eligible for parole in 2021, at 39.

Daniel Charles killed his stepfather in 1999. He was sentenced to 92 years and is eligible for parole in 2045, at 60.

Jessi Owens pleaded guilty in a 1998 hammer beating death and was sentenced to 40 years. She’s eligible for parole in 2018, at 37.