SD Supreme Court Upholds Sentence in Killing of Cab Driver

 

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld concurrent 200-year sentences against a Pierre man who was 14 when he killed a cab driver more than two decades ago.

A jury convicted Paul Dean Jensen Jr. of murder, kidnapping and other offenses in 1996 for the slaying that year of Michael Hare, and Jensen received life without parole.

Last year, a judge re-sentenced Jensen to a term of 200 years after a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that banned mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles.

The South Dakota Supreme Court decided Wednesday that Jensen didn’t establish that his sentence is cruel and unusual. The 35-year-old argued that the 200-year term was unconstitutional because it’s functionally equivalent to life without parole.

Jensen would be eligible for parole at age 39.

 


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