Ashley Toye, the girlfriend of Cash Feenz ringleader Kemar Johnson, had her motion for new sentence considered, and denied a few days ago. I missed the hearing, unfortunately, but Matt Grant from Fox4 news was there with the details. Ms. Toye’s case is interesting, as she was a juvenile at the time of the offense, and was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence, in spite of the fact that she was not involved in the actual killing. Recent Supreme Court decisions cast that automatic life sentence into doubt. However, a judge in Miami has ruled that the ruling is not retroactive, and Ms. Toye’s judge ruled that the sentence would stand. Ms. Toye’s attorney, Stu Pepper, intends to continue trying to get her sentence reconsidered.
Off the cuff, it strikes me that even if the ruling isn’t retroactive, it would still hold that if the sentence was unconstitutional, Ms. Toye’s sentence would also be unconstitutional, regardless of the timing of the ruling. Mr. Pepper has a long road in front of him, as the courts all over the country are dealing with how to handle the Supreme Court’s rulings regarding juvenile sentencing.
Apparently Ms. Toye will be profiled tonight on Fox4, including an interview in jail. I can’t find the promo online, but I presume it will be during the 10 o’clock newscast.
For more reading, check out the Sentencing Law and Policy blog, which has had extensive coverage of the Graham and Miller ramifications. Additionally, we have discussed it a few times here on Crimcourts.