Prince Johnson of Florida, Who Was Tried as an Adult at 16, Is Set Free After 44 Years in Prison

Prince Johnson

Prince Johnson, a 60-year-old Miami man, was freed from prison Friday after serving 44 years for participating in a robbery that led to the killing of a woman in 1971, the Associated Press reports.

Johnson was tried for murder as an adult and given a life sentence in 1971 when he was only 16 years old. Supreme Court rulings at the federal level and the state level in Florida require new sentencing hearings for juveniles who receive life sentences, AP explains.

Two law-enforcement officials—a prosecutor and a public defender—found that Johnson’s sentence was unlawful because Johnson did not actually shoot Marta Roman inside her husband’s ice cream truck. On Friday a judge agreed and set Johnson free.

Gale Lewis, an attorney in the public defender’s office, said she felt compelled to right the wrongs in Johnson’s case.

“I don’t know what happened back then,” Lewis said. “All I know is, we had to make it right.”

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Source: The Root | 

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