Wash. Juvenile Lifer Barry Massey Withdraws Clemency Plea

Sep 10, 2012

Barry Massey was one of the youngest juvenile killers in the country to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Now, in a rare move, the Washington inmate has withdrawn his plea for clemency.

Massy committed his crime more than a quarter century ago. At age 13 he and an older boy shot and stabbed to death Paul Wang, a Pierce County marina owner. Both Massey and his accomplice were tried as adults and sentenced to life without parole.

Massey’s case has become a rallying cry for opponents of locking up juvenile killers for life. In 2010, Washington’s clemency board recommended against granting Massey release.

But Gov. Chris Gregoire never issued her final decision. Then late last month, Massey's attorney sent Gregoire’s office a letter withdrawing the petition for clemency.

Instead, Massey will pursue what’s called post-conviction relief from the courts. The basis for the argument: this past June the U.S. Supreme Court struck down mandatory life without parole for juveniles.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network