Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Woodham seeks chance at parole.

Luke Woodham.  The mere  mention of the name recalls one of the worst nightmares that ever took place in Mississippi.  Nearly twenty years have passed since that bloody October day, but no one who was alive then has forgotten its horror.  Woodham is trying to get a chance at parole.  Woodham might actually get to be eligible for parole thanks to a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.  

The 16 year-old Woodham stabbed his mother to death  on October 1, 1997.  He left his house, went to school, and proceeded to engage in a shooting spree that killed two fellow students and wounded seven others.   He was sentenced to life in prison without parole for simple murder and twenty years in prison for  aggravated assault.  The case was closed and it was hoped Woodham would not be heard from again as he lived the rest of his life behind bars.

However, the  U.S. Supreme Court had other ideas about mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile killers.  The Court struck down such sentences in Miller v. Alabama (2012). Woodham filed a motion for post conviction relief in Rankin County Circuit Court on June 11, 2015.  The U.S. Supreme Court stated on its blog that Miller* held:
The Eighth Amendment prohibits a sentencing scheme that requires life in prison without the possibility of parole for juvenile homicide offenders. Link to SCOTUS blog and opinion.
Woodham argued that the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in Parker v. State (2013) that "Mississippi's statutory sentencing scheme for murder unconstitutionally mandates a sentence that is 'tantamount to life without parole' and thus violates the United States Supreme Court's holding in Miller v. Alabama when it is applied to juvenile offenders."

The motion asks the court to resentence Woodham to "life with eligibility for parole".  Miller retroactively applies to Woodham's case since he was a juvenile when he committed his crimes.  Mr. Fortner then makes several arguments about the immaturity of juveniles and how life without parole prevents them from having the opportunity for rehabilitation.   The motion is posted below.

Mr. Woodham will be immediately eligible to apply for parole if he prevails on his motion, since he served at least ten years of his sentence.  He is represented by Tom Fortner.  Special Circuit Judge Michael Ward will preside over the case.  The state has not yet filed a response.

*Judgment: Reversed and remanded, 5-4, in an opinion by Justice Kagan on June 25, 2012. Justice Breyer filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Sotomayor joined. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito joined. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA, J., joined. Justice Alito, filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Scalia joined.

Kingfish note: This case probably won't see the courtroom for another year.  While Woodham may win the right to ask for parole, it is veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrry doubtful, in fact, almost impossible, that a parole board will ever grant parole.  However, his repeated requests for parole will undoubtedly mean more anguish for the victims and their families. 


Anonymous said...

Thank God for the teacher/coach who had his own pistol in his car (if I remember correctly) and stopped this fool before he could do any more harm.

Kingfish said...

Yup. Big mistake by Woodham in that he left ammo on car instead of taking it with him. Allowed him to stop Woodham.

Anonymous said...

The guy who stopped him was an assistant principal who was retired Navy Submariner.

Anonymous said...

His name was Joel Myrick. Originally from Laurel, MS.

Anonymous said...

Eligibility for parole is irrelevant. This guy ain't getting paroled. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Grant Boyette and Woodhams other psycho satanist friends have been roaming free amongst us for years.

Anonymous said...

Miller does not abolish life without parole for juveniles, it requires that certain factors of the case and of the defendant be considered by the judge and for the judge to making factual findings to support life without parole or life with parole. I predict he will win a hearing and be allowed to attempt to show he is deserving of life with parole, but I will be shocked if any sane judge could find he deserves any prospect of a shorter sentence.

Anonymous said...

Boyette is married and has a kid.


Anonymous said...

He'll be out in another 10 years. That's good. He'll be around 46 by then. He will lead a quite live & you'll never hear from him again. This will save taxpayers money from having to warehouse him.
Maybe the state can take some of that savings and put it into mental health programs.

Anonymous said...

"...He will lead a quite live & you'll never hear from him again...."
May 24, 2016 at 1:57 PM

I believe that what you are trying to say is, "He will live a QUIET LIFE".

It's not your fault that you got it wrong. People in Farthest Niknar really do pronounce those words the way you wrote them. You had no way of knowing their pronunciations were so far off, that 'quiet life' sounded like 'quite live'.

The proper, non-niknar pronunciations can be found and HEARD online, now.

Anonymous said...

Everyone deserves a second chance.

Anonymous said...

Watch for the Jerry Mitchell series on how poor unfortunate Woodham has been mistreated by "the system" and deserves his freedom.

Anonymous said...

Why take up band width to point out a fat-finger typographical error? We all know what 1:57 meant.

By the way, your last sentence is not grammatically correct.

Anonymous said...

There is a zero % chance the judge will grant this motion. Assuming they did, he's merely eligible for parole. He is going nowhere. There are actual cases where this standard is a good one. This ain't one of them.

Anonymous said...

His MDOC listing:


I wonder what his state of mind is now. I wonder if he is remorseful.

What a horrible crime that was.

Anonymous said...


Yes, if he gets 'a second chance', maybe he;ll remember to take his ammo with him and shoot a lot more kids...

Anonymous said...

Definitely deserves to spend his life behind bars at a minimum. Honestly, though, if he was paroled we would probably have less trouble from him than most of the gutter rats our DA is putting back on our streets on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

I wish you guys could watch his video confession. What an effed up kid. Some of you have questioned whether he had remorse. I don't know what's in a person's heart but it was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. The bullying he endured plus his lack of self esteem/role models in his life probably led him to doing what he did. Ya'll forget what he did to his dog? Sparkles? Google that.

He's not getting out. He will die in jail and rightfully so by the way. He'd kill again. I've looked him in the eye. It's not a pleasant thing. And I'm sort of a "bleeding heart".

Anonymous said...

3:53 Those who are murdered don't get the first chance... and certainly not a second.

Anonymous said...

And the evil Kroth leader, Justin Sledge, lives the life of a graduate student and rabble-rouser in Memphis.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there some sort of gun charge for Sledge when he was a Millsaps? I can't find much about it online.

Anonymous said...

Sledge and his machine gun

Anonymous said...

IF he were truly 'forgiven' by God, he'd understand that he needs to do the time in jail for justice and mercy to his victims. He should spend the rest of his life praising Jesus and converting as many prisoners to Christ as possible, accepting the fact that he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

He needs to stay behind bars. End of story.

anonymous said...

Sledge was booted out of Millsaps after he was arrested on the firearms charges, but the idiot president, Frances Lucas, let him back in after he'd served his jail time. And of course his naive professors went to bat for him at his sentencing - no surprise there. He had everyone fooled.

He's lucky that cobbled-together submachine gun didn't blow up in his hands.

Anonymous said...

" ...but the idiot president, Frances Lucas, let him back in after he'd served his jail time...." May 25, 2016 at 4:51 PM

Is Frances Lucas related to the Lucas (fitting the same description) who (very briefly, until the locals had had enough) presided over Tulane's Madison campus?

Anonymous said...

Personally I would feel much safer with Woodham getting parole than I feel driving down any city street in our state capital.

Anonymous said...

No, 7:05, two unrelated idiots.

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