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#pardontravionblout let’s tell the current Virginia Governor to overturn this sentence and pardon this young man now..