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2018 Supreme Court decision allows bank robber with 'life' sentence to serve 66 years instead

3 years 3 months 6 days ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 February 19, 2020 6:15 AM February 19, 2020 in News
Source: The Advocate

BATON ROUGE - A convicted Baton Rouge bank robber who already served 24 years of a life prison sentence was resentenced to 66 years behind bars, Tuesday.

The Advocate reports that a judge acknowledged that though 51-year-old Torris Ross, who was accused of holding up a bank teller at gunpoint in the 1990's, had taken steps to "better himself," his past history could not be dismissed.

Years ago, the bank teller who Ross held up wrote a letter to the court, saying she is serving a "life sentence of fear, anger, and anxiety" and asked that Ross not be allowed "back on the streets."

The 51-year-old's attorney says the new sentence means Ross will likely serve an additional 20 to 25 years in prison.

But this is still a reduction from his previous 'life sentence.'  

Ross was first sentenced in 1997 under the state's original "three strikes" law, which required one of the three convictions to be a crime of violence or drug offense. 

On Jan. 30, Ross appeared before a judge and apologized for his actions before asking for the chance to "go home" at some point. 

After appearing before the same judge again on Tuesday, Ross has been given credit for time served and the previously mentioned reduced sentence. 

This resentencing was made possible by a 2018 Louisiana Supreme Court ruling that gave district judges the ability to reduce the prison time for inmates who received either life or decades-long sentences under harsh drug and habitual offender laws during the 1990's.

The high court's decision has already led to release or shorter sentences for dozens of people convicted under old drug and habitual offender laws. Ross is the second to be resentenced in East Baton Rouge Parish.


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