Governor orders release for inmate sentenced to life as teen

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s governor has ordered that a man sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in a fatal carjacking as a teenager be released next year.

Curtis Brooks was 15 and homeless when three other teens enlisted him to help steal a car in 1995. One of the other teens shot and killed 24-year-old Christopher Ramos.

Brooks was convicted of felony murder, with a mandatory life sentence and no parole. A series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings have since deemed such sentences cruel and unusual for juvenile defendants.

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday ordered that Brooks be released on July 1.

Brooks’ attorneys say he has transformed his life while in prison despite no realistic hope of release. Now 39, Brooks learned several languages and earned his GED.

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