Prosecutor Won't Charge Lifer with New Murder Because Harsher Sentence Is Not an Option

A Michigan prosecutor says her office won’t charge a prisoner accused of killing a fellow inmate because he is already serving a sentence of life without parole and can’t be punished further.

Alger County Prosecutor Karen Bahrman explained her decision in a press release, according to WLUC-TV and the Daily Press. The stories identify the suspect as Andre Adams. The original 2007 murder conviction that put Adams in jail was upheld in a 2009 appeals opinion.

“While it goes against every personal and professional instinct to do nothing about a chargeable murder, the fact remains that we cannot obtain additional consequences for the prospective defendant,” Bahrman said in the press release.

The prosecutor says the evidence will be preserved and she will be ready to file charges if Adams’ life sentence is changed.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Proof & Hearsay blog noted the story and wondered whether Bahrman made the right call. On the one hand, the prosecutor’s office saves money and Adams is denied a welcome distraction from prison life. On the other, Adams is getting a message that he is free to kill other inmates.

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