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.

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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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