A Missouri man, Bobby Bostic, serving 241 year sentence was released after 27 years in prison with help from judge who sentenced him KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

A Missouri man, Bobby Bostic, serving 241 year sentence was released after 27 years in prison with help from judge who sentenced him

Missouri inmate Bobby Bostic, who was sentenced to 241 years in prison for a series of robberies he committed aged 16, has been released on parole thanks to an unlikely ally — the very same judge who had condemned him to die in lockup.

When Bobby Bostic got out of prison last week, the first person he hugged was Evelyn Baker, the now-retired judge who sent him to prison nearly three decades ago.

Baker, who spent the last four years fighting to get him out, said she was "ecstatic" to see Bostic walk out of prison after serving 27 years for a series of robberies he committed when he was 16.

"This is better than Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving rolled into one," she told "48 Hours" correspondent Erin Moriarty, who has been covering the case for years.

Bostic, now 43, changed his life in prison. He went to school and read and wrote books — even though he had no hope of getting out. But that all changed thanks to his unlikely ally, Baker, who even appeared at a parole hearing to call for his release.

The day of his release once seemed inconceivable. Bostic was incarcerated in 1995 after he and a friend committed a series of armed robberies in St. Louis. One victim was grazed by a bullet.

Convinced Bostic was a lost cause, then-judge Baker showed no mercy after he was convicted on 17 counts and ordered his sentences to run consecutively, for a total of 241 years.

In a prison interview two weeks before his release, Bostic said he was not angry with Baker.

"It motivated me to say, 'One day, if I ever do get out, I will see her. And she'll realize the mistake she made when she sees the person I became,'" he said.

The board in December granted parole to Bostic and scheduled his release for Nov. 9, just in time for Thanksgiving, which he now plans to spend with his family and Judge Baker.

“The Bobby Bostic I put in prison is not the Bobby Bostic who got out,” Baker told Moriarty. “Bobby did what many people can’t do. He created himself.” 

Bostic was 16 in Dec. 1995 when he and another teen robbed at gunpoint a group of six people who were delivering Christmas presents to a needy family.

Prosecutors said Bostic fired a shot that grazed one victim, and that he and the other teen then carjacked and robbed a woman before releasing her.

Then-Circuit Judge Baker believed at the time that it was unlikely that Bostic could be rehabilitated and she sentenced him to a total of 241 years in prison on 18 counts, with convictions for every count to run consecutively, meaning he wouldn’t be eligible for parole until he was 112 years old.

“You made your choice,” Baker told Bostic at his sentencing. “You’re gonna have to live with your choice, and you’re gonna die with your choice because, Bobby Bostic, you will die in the Department of Corrections.”

Later, she said, “I feel nothing for you. I feel the same thing for you that you apparently felt for those victims and you feel for your family.”

In an interview last month, Bostic said he was not angry at Baker for her ruling.

“It motivated me to say, ‘One day, if I ever do get out, I will see her. And she’ll realize the mistake she made when she sees the person I became,'” he told CBS.

Bostic for a while found hope in a 2010 US Supreme Court ruling that outlawed life sentences for people under 18 for non-homicide crimes, but the Supreme Court refused to hear his case in 2019.

After retiring from the bench, Baker came to regret her decision in Bostic’s case and in 2018 publicly called for throwing it out, saying it was grossly unfair.

“What I learned too late is that young people’s brains are not static; they are in the process of maturing,” she wrote in an essay published by The Washington Post.

In a 2021 interview with CBS, Baker doubled down on her reassessment of the case, describing the 241-year sentence that she had handed down to a “little boy” as “insanity.”


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