Back in 1990 Addolfo Davis made a decision that would change the course of his life when he and his fellow gang members took a man’s life. He was 14 years old at the time of the crime, and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. After spending two-plus decades behind bars, Davis became the test case for how a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing mandatory life in prison for juveniles would affect people already locked up in Illinois. In 2015, he won re-sentencing for around 80 such juveniles, but at his own hearing, he was given another life sentence. Now, a new twist. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has struck a deal that could allow Davis to leave prison by 2020 at the age of 44. The deal still needs to be approved by a judge but it signals a possible new approach to juveniles sentenced to life in prison.
Morning Shift talks to WBEZ criminal justice reporter Patrick Smith about Davis and this new development in his case.