Paroled After Life Sentence For Juvenile Crime, Joe Donovan Works Towards His Release

BRIDGEWATER, MASS. Around the country, states are beginning to release people from prison who thought they would be there for life.

Following a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision that it’s unconstitutional for juveniles convicted of murder to automatically be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, some 2,500 cases across the country must be reviewed.

Here in Massachusetts, the state Parole Board has reviewed 20 juvenile cases so far — granting parole to nine people so long as they meet certain conditions before they’re released.

One of the most well known cases is that of Joe Donovan, who threw a punch that led to the murder of MIT student Yngve Raustein. Donovan has been incarcerated for murder since 1992, when he was 17 years old. Last year he was granted parole. This August he turns 40.

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By Deborah Becker June 9, 2015