JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KTVI) – Bobby Bostic will be released from prison after receiving a 241-year sentence as a teenager for a 1995 St. Louis robbery. The parole comes after the original judge who sentenced Bostic to more than two centuries behind bars advocated for his release.
Bostic and an 18-year-old were convicted of robbing a group delivering Christmas presents in December 1995. One victim was grazed by a bullet.
At the time of his sentencing, the ACLU says Judge Evelyn Baker felt Bostic was not a likely candidate for rehabilitation and required his sentences to be served consecutively so that he would not be eligible for parole until 2091. Bostic would have had to live to 112 to even be considered for parole.
In 2018, Judge Baker said she had regrets about that sentencing. She worked with state legislators to pass HB2201, a statute providing a parole hearing after 15 years in prison to Bostic and approximately 100 others serving de facto life without parole sentences for non-homicide crimes they committed as juveniles. The law went into effect on August 28, 2021.
Bostic asked Judge Baker to be his single advocate at this parole board hearing. On Monday, the parole board announced he won parole.
“The prejudices that let us to believe as a society that teens who commit crimes are beyond redemption are still borne by those who remained imprisoned decades after mistakes that they made as juveniles,” said Tony Rothert, ACLU of Missouri’s Director of Integrated Advocacy in a statement.
“While the legislature continues to add to the books laws that push young people from school to prison, Bobby demonstrates what we all know: who we are as children does not forever demarcate who we can become as adults.”