Crime

Man In Prison For 63 Years Rejects Parole Offer

| by Brendan Kelly

A man who has been in prison for more than 60 years rejected the opportunity to be released on parole, saying he deserves to be released outright.

Joseph Ligon, 79, has been in prison since he was 16 years old. He was given a life sentence in connection for the fatal stabbings of two Philadelphia men 63 years ago.

A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court bans life-without-parole sentences for juvenile offenders. The ban meant that Ligon would be offered to be released on parole.

Because of the new ban, about 300 inmates from Philadelphia are eligible for re-sentencing, according to the Daily Mail.

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When Ligon was told he would be eligible for parole immediately, he declined.

"His view is: He's been in long enough," Ligon's defense attorney Bradley Bridge told the Daily Mail. "He doesn't want to be on probation or parole. He just wants to be released."

Ligon was one of five teens charged for the stabbing deaths of Charles Pitts and Jackson Hamm in Point Breeze in 1963.

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So far, 65 juvenile lifers, as they are referred to, have received parole offers, with 26 more to be re-sentenced. Three other inmates have joined Ligon in rejecting their parole offers.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia has more juvenile lifers than any other city in the country. Ligon was one of seven defendants named in a petition that asks a panel of three judges to answer legal questions that could potentially change the process of re-sentencing juvenile lifers in the city.

Sources: The Philadelphia InquirerDaily Mail / Photo credit: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections via The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections via Daily Mail

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