FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – A judge has ordered the release of a 59-year-old man convicted of a killing that occurred in Arkansas more than 40 years ago.
The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Dennis Lewis of Wichita, Kansas, was 17 years old when Jared Cobb was fatally shot during a robbery at a Springdale pawn shop in April 1974.
Lewis was convicted of capital murder and assault with the intent to rob in the case, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Recent state and federal appeals court rulings have said mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles are cruel and unusual punishment and therefore unconstitutional.
A judge signed an order Tuesday that Lewis’ sentence be vacated and that he be immediately discharged.