Original Case Details
Midland County Circuit Judge Stephen P. Carras recently issued a ruling upholding the life sentence of a then-juvenile convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering a 32-year-old female jogger back in June of 1983. Brian K. Granger was 17 years old and considered a juvenile when he allegedly attacked the then-mother of three in Jasper Township near Midland. He was found guilty of first-degree murder by then-judge Tyrone Gillespie back in 1984. Granger, now 54 years old, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after he was tried and convicted for the murder as an adult. With this conviction and sentence, Granger earned the title “juvenile lifer” as too many others have earned the same title.
What Is A Juvenile Lifer?
A juvenile lifer is a juvenile who gets tried as an adult, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison. Typically, a juvenile can only be held in detention until they reach the age of 21. This obviously changes when juveniles are tried as adults for crimes. In 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles is a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Because of this ruling, it allowed for resentencing for every juvenile lifer across the country. While many juvenile lifers are getting the chance for parole after many have spent the majority of their lives in prison, resentencing does not guarantee freedom. A juvenile can be resentenced again to life without parole if the crime warrants that level of punishment. The Supreme Court struck down “mandatory” life sentences, not ones that have been carefully considered and discussed by the court. In Granger’s case, Judge Carras resentenced Granger to the same life without parole sentence due to the fact that Granger was considered a mature 17-year-old then and was simply escalating his criminal behavior as shown by his criminal history.
The Current Status Of Juvenile Lifer Resentencing
In the state of Michigan, nearly 200 juvenile lifers are still waiting for their day in court for the chance at a resentence that gives them an out date and a chance to start their lives over. Michigan has the highest number of juvenile lifers in the country who are still waiting for resentencing. Michigan prosecutors have asked for the continuation of 2/3 of the state’s juvenile lifers. Michigan is one of few states that still allows this sentence for juvenile’s as 23 states have banned the potential sentence altogether. The state of Michigan is known for having among the highest number of juvenile lifers in the country, and it does not look like the position of prosecutors has entirely changed much by requesting that almost 70% of the juvenile lifers continue the same sentence they were issued mandatorily without any inquiry by the court. The states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana account for approximately 2/3 of juvenile lifer cases nationwide. While some, like Granger, have been denied their release from prison. Other juvenile lifers have been allowed parole, but the current pandemic has claimed one juvenile lifer before he was able to make it out. William Garrison was due to be paroled after being a juvenile lifer who spent almost 44 years in prison but unfortunately didn’t make it as he died in prison after testing positive for COVID-19. There has never seemed to be any hurry to get these juvenile lifers resentenced and the access to courts has been limited due to the ongoing pandemic.
Any Further Questions?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a juvenile criminal offense, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending criminal cases all over the state of Michigan. This experience extends not only to adult cases, but also to juvenile charges. We are not a general practice firm. We are a team of criminal defense attorneys; it’s all we do. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone with questions relating to a possible or existing criminal charge against them or a loved one. Feel free to contact us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. We can also come to you.