A Florida appeals court panel says an 80-year term is too long for someone who committed armed robberies at age 17, reports the Associated Press. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal said uncertainty will continue over compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court opinion that rejected life sentences for juveniles who haven’t killed anyone. The Florida court said an 80-year term is the functional equivalent of life without parole.
Judges across the U.S. are struggling with the high court’s decision, which doesn’t limit sentence length but says juveniles must get a meaningful opportunity to seek release based on maturity and rehabilitation for non-homicide crimes. The Florida case involves Antonio Demetrius Floyd, now 31, who was among 220 inmates sentenced to life in Florida for non-homicide crimes while they were under 18.