In the article, "New Sentences for First 2 of 300 Philly Juvenile Lifers" Philly.com writes about a pro bono case currently being handled by Hayes Hunt, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations practice group, and Michael Broadbent, an associate in Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, in partnership with the Innocence Project.
On June 3, Hayes and Michael represented Tyrone Jones in Municipal Court in the first resentencing hearing under the Supreme Court's holding, in 2012, that sentencing juveniles to mandatory life without parole violates the Eighth Amendment and then, in 2016, applying the ruling retroactively. With these opinions, more than three hundred people convicted as juveniles in Philadelphia and sentenced to life without parole became eligible for resentencing and possible parole.
In the June 3 hearing, the judge resentenced Mr. Jones to 35 years (fewer than he has already served) to life with the possibility of parole. Hayes and Michael have been representing Mr. Jones pro bono in his innocence claim and resentencing efforts since 2011. In prison since he was 16, Mr. Jones is nearing 60. No date has yet been set for his parole hearing.
In addition to his claims under these recent Supreme Court cases, Mr. Jones maintains his innocence of the crime for which he was convicted based entirely on his own conflicting confessions, with exculpating ballistics evidence. Ironically, it is this assertion of actual innocence that may complicate his efforts to obtain parole.
To read the article, click here.
To listen to Hayes discuss this case on www.newsworks.org, click here.