GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– A Kent County man was the first of several people serving juvenile life terms to be re-sentenced in Kent County Circuit Court.
A recent Supreme Court ruling earlier this year said that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are considered cruel and unusual punishment.
David A. Samel, 52, was serving a life sentence for a murder he took part in with his twin brother back in 1981. He was 17 at the time.
David Samel’s brother, Michael, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was released from prison in 2009. David did not see the same fate and was convicted of first-degree murder and life in prison without parole for his role in Robert Sellon’s death.
Sellon’s half-sister has advocated on behalf of David Samel’s release.
Samel appeared in court Friday afternoon and was re-sentenced. He received a minimum 34.5 years in prison with a maximum of 60 years in prison.