Life + 65

March 10, 2005 at 6:51 pm (Philly)

Three teenagers convicted in Fishtown murder

In a trial marked by accounts of brutality and adolescent
treachery, a jury yesterday convicted three Fishtown teens of
first-degree murder for beating their friend Jason Sweeney to death in

When the Coias and Batzig are sentenced May 6, each faces a
mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. Common Pleas Court
Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes could elect to add 32 1/2 to 65 years to
each life sentence for the other crimes.

Ok, I understand the need to apply all relevant statutes and
essentially "throw the book" at these people. But life plus 65 years?
What does that mean? Do they keep the rotting corpses in the cell for
another half century? Even I think that's excessive, and my preferred
sentence would have involved a roll of duct tape and the Commodore
Barry Bridge. Is there a chance that life without parole can be
commuted to something shorter?


1 Comment

  1. Underused said,

    I’m not familiar with the story, but I imagine that, should the life sentence be overturned on appeal, the 65 years would still stand. Unless that were also overturned. The point is, sentence them for everything just in case there was a screw up in one of the convictions.

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