A Tulsa County, Ok., prosecutor believes that the state legislature should take another look at the Youthful Offender Act after an 18-year-old convicted murderer was released to his mother’s home after just two and one-half years in custody, the Oklahoman reports. Several state representatives said they support changes to the act. “This might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” said state Rep. Lucky Lamons, D-Tulsa, vice chairman of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. “There will be a day when society says, ‘This is enough.’ That day will be coming, and the Legislature will act.”
Mitchell Roberts was 15 when he and his stepfather pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Donald Green Sr., 71, in 2001. The stepfather was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Roberts was sentenced as a youthful offender in a plea agreement. Prosecutor Doug Drummond, who chose to try Roberts as a youth, said he’d like to see middle ground between locking up offenders for life and putting them in Office of Juvenile Affairs custody, where they could be released in a few years. “When we started down this road, I never anticipated that this guy would be out on the street so quickly, even under the Youthful Offender Act,” Drummond said. “I guess the challenge is to see if we can look at those laws and get some things changed to prevent this from happening in the future.” Juvenile Affairs spokeswoman Rhonda Burgess said the average stay under maximum security supervision is 16.7 months for any offense.