SEATTLE (AP) – The attorney for a Black man serving a virtual life sentence for shootings he committed at 17 has asked the Washington Supreme Court to reconsider a split ruling that upheld his sentence.
The attorney says the leniency the court granted white defendants in similar situations reveals racial bias.
The court last month upheld 61-year sentence for 45-year-old Tonelli Anderson over angry dissents from four justices.
The decision abandoned a precedent issued just a year earlier in which the court said – in the case of a white defendant – that such lengthy punishments for juvenile killers were unconstitutional because it left them no hope of a meaningful life outside prison.
The state’s response is due later this month.