A Marion County Circuit Court judge on Monday lowered the sentences of twin brothers convicted of murdering an elderly couple in Salem in 1993 when they were teenagers.
Lydell and Laycelle White were were each originally sentenced to nearly 67 years in prison. The two targeted Richard and Grace Remy, a couple in their 80s, brutally beating them and stealing their car. The Whites were 15 years old at the time of the murder.
Circuit Court Judge Lindsay Partridge on Monday sentenced the Whites to at least 40 years in prison and post-prison supervision for life, court documents showed. Their murder and aggravated murder charges were also reduced to second-degree murder.
The Oregon Department of Corrections will compute their remaining sentence, said Marion County Deputy District Attorney Amy Queen.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 ruled that sentencing an adolescent to life in prison violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment unless a court determined that the minor was beyond rehabilitation and their crime reflected “irreparable corruption.”
Lawyers for the Whites then petitioned to have their case reviewed and argued they had effectively been sentenced to life in prison. The Oregon Supreme Court reversed the judgment against the Whites in May and sent their case back to state circuit court.
In response, the Oregon Department of Justice filed petitions asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hold the Whites’ cases open while deciding an appeal from Virginia that would have further affected which minors could have their sentences reversed.
After the state enacted a new law allowing parole for minors sentenced to 20 years to life, Virginia withdrew its appeal, prompting the state's department of justice to drop its petitions in February 2020.