Parole board agrees to free man convicted as teen

NATICK, Mass. (AP/WWLP) — The Massachusetts Parole Board has granted release to a 38-year-old man who has served 22 years after being convicted of murder as a teenager.

The Boston Globe reports (http://bit.ly/1ya322Z) the board voted Thursday to free Joseph Donovan after six months of program participation and one year in a rehabilitation program.

He is the third to be granted release after rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that sentencing juveniles to life without the chance for parole is unconstitutional. More than 60 Massachusetts inmates are affected.

Donovan was convicted in the killing of 22-year-old Yngve Raustein of Norway during a 1992 Cambridge street robbery. Donovan punched Raustein before a co-defendant fatally stabbed him.

One person told 22News, “Many young people under the age of 25 have really not reached an adult state of development in their brain development.  So we know that to try them as adults at an age under 18 often leads to a life without much hope.”

On Wednesday, the board granted parole to 36-year-old Anthony Rolon, convicted at 17 of a New Bedford fatal stabbing.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

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