In 1997, Bobby Bostic was sentenced to 241 years in prison for two armed robberies he committed at age 16. The heavy sentence was handed down by Evelyn Baker, a retired Missouri circuit court judge: “You will die in the Department of Correction,” Baker said at the time of trial. Now, more than two decades later she regrets her decision.
In an op-ed piece published by the Washington Post, Baker speaks out about her decision. Bostic and his friend robbed a group of six people, shots were fired, but no one was severely injured. Bostic wrote Baker letters, explaining his actions and apologizing for his mistake, but she believed at the time he did not demonstrate sincere remorse for his actions.
“You are the biggest fool who has ever stood in front of this court. . . . You made your choice. You’re gonna have to live with your choice, and you’re gonna die with your choice. . . . Your mandatory date to go in front of the parole board will be the year 2201. Nobody in this room is going to be alive in the year 2201,” Baker said.
Now, Baker said with advancements in technology and research in brain development, she has noticed flaws in her thinking and decision to sentence a youth to life in prison.