*When is it a good time to show the judicial system that a sentence they have handed down to someone that has broken the law is absolutely ridiculous and downright wrong? The answer to that question may be: right now. Pronto!
When Travion Blount of Virginia agreed to crash and rob a house party with his two older buddies, he probably knew it was a stupid idea. Add to that, they only got what amounted to twenty dollars and a joint each from the deal. But that one stupid act cost him so much more. In 2008, after only a few hours of deliberation, a jury found Blout guilty on 49 out of 51 felony counts and two months later, a Virginia judge sentenced the teen to six life terms plus 118 years for committing an armed robbery in 2006 – when he was 15.
His attorney, John Coggeshall, argues that Blount deserves a second chance.
“He did something really stupid,” Coggeshall told Ed Berliner on “MidPoint” on Newsmax TV Thursday. “He listened to two older boys, essentially adults, and they robbed a house party, they got $60 and three joints. Nobody was physically hurt.”
On the day that the sentence was handed down, according to Pilot Online, Angela Blount watched her son turn and ask, “What happened, Mom?”
Coggeshall explained that the two other boys, who were 18, agreed to plea bargains, but Blount wanted to go to trial.
“The jury found him guilty, and the judge sentenced him to what most of us consider is the harshest sentence any juvenile has ever gotten for a non-homicide crime,” Coggeshall said.
“Yes, the kid was on the wrong side of the tracks, but nobody deserves that, nobody,” he added.
One Virginia attorney said that although Blount’s sentence was harsh, it was “perfectly legal.”
However, “in 2010, the United States Supreme Court came out with a case called Graham vs. Florida, groundbreaking,” Coggeshall explained. “It said that non-homicide juveniles cannot be sentenced to life without a meaningful chance of release.”
However, he said that in Virginia, there’s a law that says convicts have a chance to be released when they turn 60.
“Since Virginia has that meaningful chance of release, Mr. Blount stays where he is,” he explained.
Blouts sentence was “commuted…to 40 years,” before former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell left office in early 2014. But that commutation was overturned by a judge in early August.
“The problem is that the Virginia Constitution says a governor cannot commute a sentence if it’s a non-capital sentence,” Coggeshall said. “Meaning the only sentences a governor can commute in Virginia is somebody who kills somebody.”
The Virginia attorney says that now he is back in federal court and plans to ask for a conditional pardon from current Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
No one is saying that Travion Blount should not have been punished for committing a crime, but the punishment should fit the crime. Now is the time for people to show their united power. Using the hashtag #pardontravionblount let’s tell the current Virginia Governor to overturn this sentence and pardon this young man now.
Watch the video below to see Travion’s mother, Angela Blout speak on the probability of why her son chose to hang with the wrong crows; listen to Travion himself, speak via phone from prison, and hear attorney John Coggeshall speak on his clients’ behalf.
VA Teen Gets Six Life Terms & 118 Years for Stealing 60 Bucks