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A 5-Year-Old Girl Was Raped And Killed In An Abandoned Basement With A Wire-Wrapped Wooden Stake

Abandoned Basement
Abandoned Basement ( Photo: Decider )

Michigan man who murdered a 5-year-old girl as a teenager to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Abandoned Basement

Abandoned Basement ( Photo: The New York Times )

Life imprisonment is a disproportionate punishment for all but the very rare children who commit irreparable corruption

Jason Benjamin Simmons, 45, was 16 when he brutally assaulted and killed five-year-old Nicole VanNoty in 1994. The victim was a playmate of his sister-in-law who lured Mr. Simmons into the basement of his father’s abandoned building. While in the basement, the accused sexually assaulted the victim and beat her repeatedly with the blunt edge of an ax, with a wooden peg wrapped in wire and with a metal rod. After that, the defendant put the naked body in a black garbage bag and buried it in the back of the abandoned house. The next day, the defendant allegedly framed his friend, who confessed to killing his victim after agreeing to a police interrogation.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the mandatory life sentence for children is unconstitutional and applies only to children convicted of murder

Juveniles sentenced to life imprisonment prior to this Supreme Court ruling will be given the opportunity to seek re-sentence based on differences in brain development among adolescent boys. Simmons was convicted in 1995 and sentenced to life in prison. A psychologist, who testified on Simmons’ behalf at his multi-day retrial hearing this week, said the defendant is truly rehabilitated and deserves a second chance.


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