DENVER (AP) — A man serving a life sentence for two murders he committed when he was a teenager has hanged himself, and a prison reform advocate says he had lost hope in a sentencing review process triggered by a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The Denver Post reported Thursday that Gabriel Adams, 38, committed suicide in his cell at Pueblo’s San Carlos Correctional Facility on March 9. Barb Stephenson, a board member of the Colorado chapter of a grassroots prison reform group known as CURE, told the Post that Adams was losing hope his sentence would be reduced. Stephenson said Adams was sent to San Carlos, which houses seriously mentally ill prisoners, after he attempted suicide at Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility.
State Rep. Paul Rosenthal, a Denver Democrat, has asked Colorado prisons chief Rick Raemisch to investigate the circumstances surrounding Adams’s death and to evaluate the 49 remaining Colorado prisoners serving mandatory life terms for murders committed when they were juveniles. In a letter sent to Raemisch on Tuesday, Rosenthal said he doesn’t want to see another suicide.
Adams had been due for a review after a 2012 Supreme Court ruling in an Alabama case that the Constitution forbids mandating a sentence of life in prison without parole for a juvenile offender.
Jacob Ind hired Adams to kill his parents in their Woodland Park home in 1992. The couple was sprayed with bear mace before each was stabbed and shot. Ind also was convicted and received two life sentences.
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