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55-year sentence confirmed for 15-year-old MS-13 gang killer

Posted at 3:21 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 15:21:11-05

NEW YORK — An appeals court has affirmed a 55-year prison term for a MS-13 gang member who led the slaughter of four young men in a Long Island park when he was 15.

But the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also expressed disappointment Tuesday that parole was not still available for federal prisoners like Josue Portillo, now 19.

The appeals panel said the case serves as a “classic illustration of the unfortunate consequences” of a decision by Congress to eliminate parole in the 1980s.

The judges said Portillo might behave better in prison and pursue learning opportunities if he saw a chance for freedom before age 70.