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Aponte moved to vacate his sentence after being convicted for, among other things, second degree murder and first degree robbery, arguing it violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban against cruel and unusual punishment based on the fact he was merely 17 years old at the time his crimes were committed. The court noted, contrary to Aponte’s arguments, he was not a juvenile offender; but that at 17 years old, he possessed, based on legislative history, sufficient maturity to be sentenced as an adult. Further, as Aponte was parole eligible, despite that the aggregate mandatory minimum periods of imprisonment may preclude him from ever being paroled, the sentences were not unconstitutional. Also, the claim that age, by itself, would prevent the imposition of a sentence for an A-I felony on the basis of cruel and unusual punishment was previously rejected. The court concluded “the havoc he wreaked, the brutality he savagely inflicted on others and the methodical execution of his victim exudes an abject depravity unparalleled by adults of any age.” As such, it ruled “characterizing the imposed sentence as anything other than justifiably appropriate was simply incomprehensible,” denying Aponte’s motion to vacate.

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