By Jueseppi B.
15 years old, sentenced to 118 years and 6 life sentences FOR A ROBBERY! We are seeking justice for Travion Blount.
Where in the hell is Al Sharpton now? 15 year old black kid in Virginia got 6 life sentences
Published on Nov 9, 2013
Travion Blount’s punishment may be the harshest in America for a teen who didn’t commit murder. The 15-year-old robbed a Norfolk party with two older gang members. He hurt no one. His friends got 10 and 13 years. But as it stands, Blount will die in prison.
At the opening of the trial, a Norfolk circuit judge glanced down at Travion Blount.
“He looks young,” the judge said.
“He’s 17,” his defense attorney answered.
A clerk stood and read 51 felony charges against Blount: among them, illegal use of a firearm, robbery, abduction.
Blount said two words to each: “Not guilty.” He said little more during his three-day trial.
A dozen victims, a detective and two teens he once called friends testified against him. Witnesses described an armed robbery committed by two older teenagers and Blount, then 15, at a house party near Norfolk Naval Station in September 2006. The three collected cash and marijuana. No shots were fired, but one person was struck by a co-defendant.
After a few hours of deliberation, a jury foreman submitted a stack of forms to the judge. Blount was guilty on 49 counts.
In Virginia, juries play no role in juvenile punishment. Blount was ordered to return to Courtroom 7 for sentencing in four months.
Defense attorneys tried to avoid the law-and-order judges assigned to courtrooms 3, 5 and 7. They joked about “357 justice” — like a .357 Magnum pointed at their clients.
On March 12, 2008, at Blount’s sentencing, the judge told everyone that gun convictions came with set punishments under Virginia law.
He stepped through the weapons charges, one by one. The count added up to 118 years.
Next, the judge addressed the remaining 25 felony convictions. He suspended several sentences. But for the crimes against three victims — all juveniles, robbed at gunpoint of purses, cellphones and wallets — he did not. The rulings: life, life, life, life, life and life.
Blount knew he would spend years in prison. He didn’t expect to die there.
Angela Blount watched her son turn and ask, “What happened, Mom?”
Travion Blount might be serving the harshest punishment delivered to any American teenager for a crime not involving murder, experts say. His case, and others like it, are forcing judges and lawmakers to ask: Can a young criminal life be redeemed?
Blount’s advocates argue his six life sentences for an armed robbery violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment.
“Nobody’s asking to let him out tomorrow,” said his attorney, John Coggeshall. He wants a new sentence for his client, comparable to the codefendants’. The older defendants — who, according to testimony, led the robbery — pleaded guilty and received just 13 and 10 years in prison.
The Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based appeals firm, represented Blount in Virginia last year. Lawyers for the nonprofit have successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of juvenile offenders.
But the Virginia Supreme Court last year turned down Blount’s appeal. The court ruled in an earlier case that teen offenders with life terms have a meaningful option to leave prison: geriatric release. Long-term inmates are eligible to appeal after they turn 60 in Virginia. But less than 1 percent of eligible prisoners, or five of about 800, were granted geriatric release last year, according to the state.
Blount and at least one other Hampton Roads inmate, a Virginia Beach teen convicted of rape, have appealed for new sentences in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. The state Attorney General’s Office is opposing the requests.
Blount’s crime was not particularly noteworthy. No shots were fired, and he didn’t hit any victims. It did not merit a mention in the morning newspaper.
By comparison, Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad killed three people in Virginia and terrified millions in October 2002.
Malvo, a juvenile at the time of the sniper slayings, was convicted in a Chesapeake courtroom of capital murder and acts of terrorism in Virginia. He received two life terms for those crimes.
Travion Blount got a longer sentence. As it stands, both will die in prison.
Petition by monique santiago
The importance of this petition is obvious and clear. A CHILD sentenced to 118 years and 6 life sentences for a robbery is very harsh. Murderers have been sentenced to a less sentence. Travion Blount should be receiving a new sentence or a conditional pardon.
Please sign and send this petition:
Virginia State Supreme Court, Common Wealth State of Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell
“Travion Blount’s punishment may be the harshest in America for a teen who didn’t commit murder. The 15-year-old robbed a Norfolk party with two other males. He hurt no one. His friends got 10 and 13 years. But as it stands, Travion will die in prison if justice is not prevailed on his behalf”.
“A clerk stood and read 51 felony charges against Blount: among them, illegal use of a firearm, robbery, abduction. Travion said two words to each: “Not guilty.” After a few hours of deliberation, a jury foreman submitted a stack of forms to the judge. Blount was guilty on 49 counts.”
In the Common Wealth state of Virginia juries play no role in the juvenile punishment and Travion was ordered to return back to the courtroom for sentencing four months later. On March 12, 2008 Travion was sentenced under Judge Charles D. Griffith and told everyone that gun convictions came with set punishments under Virginia law.
Judge Griffith clearly took this law to the extreme.
Erin Kelly reports on Travion Blount sentence
“As he went through the breakdown of weapons charges at his sentencing it totaled to a shocking 118 years. After stating this shocking and cruel calculation of time he then addressed the remaining 25 felony convictions that ruled in six life sentences”.
~Louis Hansen~ The Virginian-Pilot
Does Travion deserve to spend 118 years and serve 6 life sentences and DIE in prison for a case where no one was murdered? Travion should pay his debt to society for this robbery there is no denying that however should he perish in prison due to a immature decision he made at a very young age?
Travion is serving the harshest punishment delivered to any American teenager for a crime not involving murder.
How does a 15 year old child get convicted of six life sentences for a robbery and yet murderers, child molesters, career criminals, and those who do not value life get a slap on the wrist or lighter sentences that will eventually set them free back into society? It is several cases all over the world where great crimes were committed or crimes such as this and yet Travion is smacked with a life sentence. Is this justice? Should a 15 year old have been sentenced to a slow death due to an immature decision?
Travion who is now 23 years of age and has been incarcerated going on 8 years is currently at Wallens Ridge State Prison for this crime and is still fighting for his freedom and to get his life back. Please join in for the “FIGHT FOR TRAVION BLOUNT”.
If you could take the time and sign this petition it would help our fight for Travion in such a big way. Team work makes the dream work and together we can get Travion home. The importance of this petition is very clear please help us help Travion.
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