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Rapist Serving 1,000-Year Sentence Will Be Eligible For Parole When He's 387 Years Old

Florida's high court upheld Arthur Franklin's millenium-long prison term for three rapes he committed as a teen, despite arguments it violates a Supreme Court precedent.

By Gina Tron
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A Florida rapist will technically be eligible for parole, but only after his 387th birthday. So, probably not gonna happen.

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a 1,000-year prison sentence for Arthur O'Derrell Franklin, who was convicted of raping three women in the 1980s when he was a teenager.

Franklin was convicted in 1983 on a slew of charges in those three cases: armed kidnapping, kidnapping, armed sexual battery, sexual battery, armed robbery, robbery and aggravated assault, according to the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. He was sentenced to three concurrent 1,000-year terms.

In a divided ruling, the state Supreme Court upheld the sentence. Their review involved “Graham v. Florida,” a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case that mandated that juveniles sentenced to life, who hadn't committed murder, must be given a "meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation" before their term ends.

The logic behind the Graham decision is that juveniles’ brains aren’t formed to the same degree that adult brains are, according to WLRN in Miami. Franklin's defense argued that he should be retried because of his age at the time of the rapes.

However, the Florida Supreme Court’s majority ruled that the “Graham v. Florida” case doesn’t apply to Franklin. Why? Because, technically speaking, he is eligible for parole. That is, if he can live to be a few more centuries old. He will be up for parole in the year 2352.

Thursday's court opinion cited the brutality of the crimes, stating that “in each case, the female victim testified that Franklin violently attacked her, kidnapped her, drove her to a secluded area and brutally battered, raped, and robbed her while evidencing an extraordinary cruelty and a perverse enjoyment of the suffering he was inflicting. In one case, ‘the physician who performed the sexual assault battery exam testified that the victim suffered the worst injuries the physician had ever observed.’”

[Photo: Florida Department of Corrections]

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