Man who was 16 when he murdered a teen now eligible for parole at some point

The Supreme Judicial Court today upheld Charon Ray's conviction for fatally shooting a teen when he was 16 - his victim was 14 - but said that at some point he could seek parole under federal and state rulings that life without parole is a cruel and unusual punishment for minors.

Ray was convicted for the 2004 death of a Roxbury teen from a rival housing project. The state's highest court rejected his lawyer's arguments that he'd gotten an unfair trial - there was the matter of the juror who kept falling asleep during testimony - but agreed that a Supreme Court ruling in 2012, which led to an SJC decision last year meant teens could not be simply locked up until they die.

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I was a juror on this case, I

I was a juror on this case, I don't recall any problems with a juror falling asleep. In fact the judge came in after the trial to thank us.

The only defense the public defender had was "maybe it was his cousin who did it, they have the same color eyes". He was TERRIBLE.

Everything else was evidence and eye witnesses against the defendant. Though a lot of testimony was changed after the grand jury, people started changing their stories because of intimidation.

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defense lawyers often look bad on murder cases

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Strong first-degree murder cases always go to trial, because there are no plea bargains. Even pleading to 2nd degree if offered by the DA in a weaker case would mean 15 to life, not something a lot of young knuckleheads want to do.

If the evidence of guilt is strong, the defense lawyer is only left with a few options:
1. misidentification
2. police corruption
3. insanity

There might not be any evidence to support any of the these, but the defense lawyer has to flail around and try it. The client also controls how the case is tried. It's a tough situation for the lawyer.

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