Wyoming Governor, Matt Mead, has signed a bill into law that ends mandatory life imprisonment penalties for murders under the age of 18.
The new law means Wyatt Bear Cloud is eligible for a new sentencing hearing. Bear Cloud was 16 when he killed Sheridan native, Robert Ernst.
The law came to fruition in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to do away with mandatory life sentences for juveniles last year. That ruling caused the Wyoming Supreme Court to throw out the life sentence of Wyatt Bear Cloud, who was 16 when he murdered Robert Ernst, a Sheridan native. Bear Cloud is awaiting a new sentencing hearing.
The Billings Gazette reports the new law gives juvenile criminals a chance at parole after 25 years, and stipulates they can have commuted sentences at the governor's discretion.
There are currently eight people serving life sentences without parole for crimes they committed as juveniles who will not be given new sentencing hearings, as the law was not written to be retroactive.
To read the full article in the Billings Gazette, follow the link below: