Supreme Court agrees to hear Youngstown case

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Supreme Court plans to hear an appeal from a man who claims a 115-year prison sentence imposed when he was 15 years old violates his constitutional rights.

Brandon Moore was tried as an adult and convicted by a jury in the 2001 armed kidnapping, robbery and gang rape of a 21-year-old woman. He drew the sentence from Mahoning County Judge R. Scott Krichbaum in 2008.

Moore, now 28, claims a definite sentence that exceeds his life expectancy for crimes he committed as a juvenile violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The state’s high court agreed to hear the case this week after a 2-1 decision of the 7th District Court of Appeals in December left the sentence intact.

Krichbaum imposed that sentence at Moore’s second resentencing after appeals of previous sentences.

“It is the intention of this court that you should never be released from the penitentiary,” the judge told Moore at the time.

Moore’s attorneys wrote that his prison term is the longest they know of for an Ohio juvenile offender.

Ralph M. Rivera, an assistant Mahoning County prosecutor, had urged the high court to decline to hear the case.

“This case does not involve any substantial constitutional questions and is of no public interest,” Rivera wrote.

The Moore case was one of only five appeals statewide that the Ohio Supreme Court accepted Wednesday for review. It refused to hear 74 other cases.

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