52-Year-Old Convicted of Murder— as a Juvenile

Cold case solved, but punishment is tricky
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2012 8:37 AM CST

(Newser) – Under normal circumstances, it would be a clear-cut sentencing: A 52-year-old New Jersey man got convicted this week of raping and murdering his neighbor, reports the Star-Ledger. The catch is that the crime occurred more than three decades ago when Carlton Franklin was 15, explains the New York Times. As a result, the trial took place in juvenile court, and now the judge must figure out whether to sentence Franklin as if were still a teen, with an emphasis on rehabilitation instead of punishment.

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“I don’t even think I can answer, because it’s so unusual,” says Franklin’s lawyer. “I’ve never seen it before.” Franklin could get up to 20 years if the judge goes by 1976 guidelines, but, under those same guidelines, it's unclear whether he can be sentenced to an adult prison after being convicted in juvenile court. We'll find out in January. (Read more juvenile crime stories.)

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