St. Louis man serving 241-year sentence granted parole

Missouri

FILE – In this Thursday, July 10, 2014 file photo, Bobby Bostic poses for a portrait in the visitation room at the Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron, Mo., where he has served 23 years of a 241-year sentence for a 1995 robbery. The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri says 42-year-old Bostic was granted parole and will be released from prison late next year. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Bobby Bostic will be released from prison after receiving a 241-year sentence as a teenager for a 1995 St. Louis robbery. This comes after the judge that sentenced Bostic advocated for his release.

Bostic and an 18-year-old were convicted of robbing a group delivering Christmas presents in December 1995. One victim was grazed by a bullet.

At the time of his sentencing, the ACLU says Judge Evelyn Baker felt Bostic was not a likely candidate for rehabilitation and required his sentences to be served consecutively so that he would not be eligible for parole until 2091. Bostic would have had to live to 112 to even be considered for parole.

In 2018, Judge Baker said she had regrets about that sentencing. She worked with state legislators to pass SB 26, a statute providing a parole hearing after 15 years in yprison to Bostic and approximately 100 others serving de facto life without parole sentences for nonhomicide crimes they committed as juveniles. The law went into effect on August 28, 2021.

Bostic asked Judge Baker to be his single advocate at this parole board hearing. Today, the parole board announced he won parole.

“The prejudices that let us believe as a society that teens who commit crimes are beyond redemption are still borne by those who remained imprisoned decades after mistakes that they made as juveniles,” said Tony Rothert, ACLU of Missouri’s Director of Integrated Advocacy in a statement. “While the legislature continues to add to the books laws that push young people from school to prison, Bobby demonstrates what we all know: who we are as children does not forever demarcate who we can become as adults.”

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