2 Utah men still have life without parole for teen crimes

Utah Department of Corrections

Robert Cameron Houston took his appeal alleging his sentence was “cruel and unusual punishment” all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the justices declined to take the case. That came after the Utah Supreme Court upheld the sentence, too. Authorities say Houston raped and killed a 22-year-old youth counselor who gave him a ride from a group home for troubled teens to another facility during a snowstorm in 2006.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s two prisoners serving life without parole for slayings they carried out as 17-year-olds both tried and failed to appeal their sentences, keeping them in prison despite two key rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court on juvenile lifers.

Robert Cameron Houston took his appeal alleging his sentence was “cruel and unusual punishment” all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the justices declined to take the case. That came after the Utah Supreme Court upheld the sentence, too.

Authorities say Houston raped and killed a 22-year-old youth counselor who gave him a ride from a group home for troubled teens to another facility during a snowstorm in 2006.

Michael Teter a University of Utah law professor, made the request on Houston’s case to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015. Teter said Houston’s difficult childhood, with physical and sexual abuse, wasn’t adequately presented during trial by his attorney, preventing…

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