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Young and Unaware: A New Method of Defense

Young and Unaware: A New Method of Defense

Posted By Parks & Braxton || 26-Sep-2012

Thomas Daugherty was only 17 when he decided to beat a homeless man to death in the Fort Lauderdale area. The attack was caught on video tape and posted online, enraging homeless advocates. The teen was one of three men that were sentenced in relation to the attack that ended 45-year-old Norris Gaynor’s life. Two other homeless men in the area were also victim to Daugherty and his friend’s attacks, but they were able to survive the beating. The other two men who were involved in the beatings were given lesser prison sentences, but the courts found Daugherty guilty of murder and issued him a life prison sentence.

Now, Daugherty’s attorney has managed to get the young man a new trial. At 23, he has already served almost 6 years in prison for his offense. A Broward County Judge says that the Supreme Court has ruled that a teen must be observed and determined mature enough to understand the consequences of his actions before he can be issued a life sentence. Daugherty will undergo another sentencing as a result, where his attorney will try to prove that he was not aware of the brevity of his actions and therefore should be given a lighter sentence. If you were charged with a crime that you committed out of immaturity and ignorance, this strategy may be worth looking into.

Maybe you assaulted or murdered when you were a teenager giving into peer pressure and had no concept of the difficulties that would follow that decision. Maybe you simply got caught up in drugs and were arrested for possession of a Schedule I narcotic. You may have had no idea of the sentences that accompany possession of the drug at the time. If you can plead that you were too young to understand these concepts, you may be able to get a lighter sentence at your hearing. Talk to a lawyer at Parks & Braxton if you want to try this line of defense in your criminal case!

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