The Massachusetts Parole Board today approved the eventual release of a man who had been sentenced to life without parole for a murder he committed when he was a juvenile.
Frederick Christian was one of the first two men in such cases to go before the board to seek parole after the state’s highest court ruled in December that it was unconstitutional to deny a chance for parole to juveniles sentenced for first-degree murder.
In a 6-0 vote, the board said Christian, who is now 37, should be released from custody in a process that would let him gradually adjust to society.
“After careful consideration of all relevant facts, including the nature of the underlying offense, the age of the inmate at the time of the crime, criminal record, institutional record, the inmate’s testimony at the hearing, and the views of the public as expressed at the hearing or in writing, we conclude by unanimous vote that the inmate is a suitable candidate for parole,’’ the board said in a written decision released today.
Christian was 17 on May 25, 1994, when he and a friend, Russell Horton, 18, got into a car with three other men. The five drove around Brockton before Horton told the driver, Manuel Araujo, to stop at a house so that he and Christian could rip off drug dealers they thought lived there.
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