Sentences reconsidered for minors convicted of murder

(WSPA) — Convicted killers sentenced to life in prison could be released following a directive by the S.C. Supreme Court.

The 2016 order affects minors sentenced to life without parole for murder.

In 2015, there were 42 people serving life sentences without parole for crimes committed when they were younger than 18.

More than 20 cases in the Upstate will be evaluated in light of the ruling. One of those cases includes Joseph Hudgins. Now 42, Hudgins received a death sentence in the murder of Anderson County Deputy Chris Taylor.

Hudgins was a teenager at the time of Taylor’s killing.

Hudgins was later sentenced to spend life in prison without parole.

Joseph Hudgins (Source: S.C. Department of Corrections)

He’s currently incarcerated at McCormick Correctional Institution.  

A circuit court judge ruled last month that Hudgins will get a new sentencing hearing.

In the ruling, Judge Donald Hocker wrote that “life imprisonment without parole sentence is unconstitutional without an individualized sentencing hearing.”