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Attorneys for AZ man sentenced to life as a juvenile push for shorter sentence

Attorneys are pushing for an Arizona man's sentence to be reduced after he was sentenced to life in federal prison for crimes he committed as a juvenile. The U.S. Supreme Court previously ruled that only rare and irredeemable juvenile offenders should serve a life sentence.

Riley Briones Jr. was convicted for murder after he drove the getaway car in a robbery that turned deadly on the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community in 1994.

In the last 10 years, most of the 39 defendants with similar sentences are serving less time. 

Attorneys for Briones petitioned the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to give him another chance to cut his sentence, arguing he is a changed man. 

Though in a previous resentencing case, the victims parents say the passing of time has done little to mend their hearts.

Prosecutors in his case have until May to respond to the petition. 

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.