20 Years Later: Teen Robber Jailed up to 70 Years Due No Relief, Pa. Court Rules
March 20, 2017
A state prison inmate serving decades for a spree of armed robberies in Lancaster County in 1996 will get no relief from his sentence, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled.
Shane D. Shivers was 16 when he was charged as an adult with numerous robberies, involving a gun, and pleaded guilty in 1997 to seven counts of robbery.
The robberies happened Dec. 30 and 31, 1996, in Lancaster, Columbia, and West Hempfield Township. Two victims were shot during the crimes and survived.
A Lancaster County judge sentenced Shivers to 35 to 70 years in prison.
Shivers, now a 36-year-old inmate at a Schuylkill County prison, recently requested relief from his sentence. Shivers cites a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision deeming mandatory life sentences “unconstitutional” for juvenile defendants convicted of murder.
In his filing, Shivers argues his “youthfulness” was not taken into account at sentencing.
The state Superior Court recently denied that argument, finding Shivers doesn’t qualify for relief under that decision because he was not convicted of murder and not sentenced to life in prison.
For those reasons, the appeals court found, Shivers’ argument does not meet the time exceptions, which otherwise require defendants to file for relief within a year of sentencing.
Assistant District Attorney Trista Boyd handled the appeal for the commonwealth.