Judge, man she sentenced to 241 years in prison, say more can be done to help youth in need

27 years later Judge Evelyn Baker and Bobby Bostic are working together
Published: Dec. 3, 2022 at 10:47 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Bobby Bostic is out on parole after being incarcerated since 1995.

Bostic committed a series of robberies in St. Louis when he was 16 years old.

Former Judge Evelyn Baker sentenced Bostic to 241 years in prison.

“I only remember the names of three defendants,” Baker said. “Two were capital punishment cases and they’ve both been executed. The other one was Bobby Bostic who I gave 241 years to.”

Both Bostic and Baker say the lack of knowledge of adolescent brain development played a role in that harsh sentence.

“Back then they didn’t have that science so we were just treated as typical adults because nobody knew about the neurological science back at the time I was sentenced,” Bostic said.

Based on Missouri law prior to 2021, Bostic would have had to serve 85% of his sentence before being eligible for parole. Bostic would have been 112 years old.

After seeing the work Bostic did to better himself in prison, his former judge was one of the people who fought to get him out.

“The change that’s taken place in Missouri is that juvenile defendants after serving a particular amount of time are eligible to go in front of the parole board.”

The law, which Baker calls Bobby’s Law, was passed in 2021 and allows juveniles to apply for parole after serving 15 years.

Bostic spent 27 years in prison before he was given a second chance earlier this month.

“It gives people a hope that they never had before,” Bostic said. “It gives them a certain happiness and peace that they’re going to get a chance to make a life for themselves when they get out, which they didn’t have at first.”

However, Baker said there is still more work to be done in St. Louis and across the state.

“In the Missouri Department of Corrections, the most you can get is a GED unless you have family or friends or somebody out there who pays for your education,” Baker said. “We have a system that is very punitive. We need a system that is restorative and therapeutic. What comes out of the Department of Corrections should be better than what went in.”

Seeing the crime happening in St. Louis, Bostic said we need to find a way to support juveniles in need.

“The youth are the future,” Bostic said. “We shouldn’t give up on them. We should just try to guide them because they’re lost.”

Bostic is planning to use his story to inspire others in similar situations to turn their lives around.