Teen Charged As Adult In Teacher Killing Challenges Law

A lawyer for a Massachusetts teenager charged with killing his 24-year-old math teacher is challenging the constitutionality of a state law that requires him to be tried as an adult.

Philip Chism, now 15, is charged with raping and killing Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer in October.

In a motion filed Monday, Chism's lawyer, Denise Regan, argues that the state's "youthful offender" law is unconstitutional. The law requires that those 14 and over who are charged with murder must be tried as adults.

Regan asks the court to remand the case against Chism to Juvenile Court.

The defense cites recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the state Supreme Judicial Court finding that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles are unconstitutional.


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