ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday has upheld the life sentence for convicted murderer Nehemiah Griego. In 2013 Griego shot and killed his parents and three younger siblings when he was 15 years old.

Griego was initially sentenced as a juvenile. However, before he got out at 21, prosecutors successfully argued that he had not been rehabilitated and was still a danger.

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A judge then sentenced him to a life sentence. Griego’s attorney’s appealed arguing his sentence was “cruel and unusual punishment.” The court rejected both those claims.

In 2019, a district court judge found him not amenable to treatment as a juvenile and sentenced him as an adult to the state prison system. Griego, who is now 25, will be eligible for parole when he is 52.

Nehemiah Griego’s attorney released the following statement:

“It is easy to give up on children who commit terrible crimes and write them off as hopeless. But
the truth is that these crimes are rooted in trauma and mental illness and many of the children
involved can and will eventually be rehabilitated. Instead of offering this chance for Nehemiah
by finding his three life sentences to be cruel and unusual punishment, the Supreme Court’s
decision means that he will spend his life in prison for crimes he committed as a child. New
Mexico should protect children from the cruel fate Nehemiah is now facing, not give up on
them,” Jaramillo said follow this morning’s release of the Court’s ruling.

Full dispositional order in State v. Nehemiah Griego, No. S-1-SC-38209.