It was February 20, 1953, when Joseph Ligon, then 15 years, attended a dance and drank wine with four other teens. They then ended up robbing and stabbing eight people in Philadelphia. Two of the victims, Charles Pitts and Jackson Hamm, died.
Ligon was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1953, at 16 years old, alongside three other boys in connection with the stabbing deaths of the two men and the injury of the eight others.
Ligon, despite his conviction, maintains that he did not kill anyone as he stabbed only one person, who survived.
Ligon pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Ligon became eligible for immediate parole in 2017, however, the beneficiary of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued five years earlier that declared life without parole sentences unconstitutional for juvenile murderers.
Bradley Bridge of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, told the court : “His view is that he’s been in long enough. He doesn’t want to be on probation or parole. He just wants to be released.”
Ligon, of course, would like to go free, but he apparently didn’t want the kind of freedom that would require him to remain under the control of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
state Superior Court panel decided that Ligon, who served 64 years behind bars, has received all the legal breaks he should get.