13th Person with Life Sentence Resentenced Under New Law

Judge McDonald and Gregory Steen.

On August 27, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office participated in a resentencing hearing under SB 5164; filing a motion to resentence Mr. Gregory Steen, who was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole (LWOP) — but no longer should be based on recent changes to the law.

Watch the August 27 resentencing hearing.

This was our 13th successful LWOP resentencing since June.

“I’m sorry to the victims of the crimes I committed. I feel a deep sense of remorse, not only for that behavior but for the life that I led,” said Mr. Steen. “I involved myself in several years of therapy to peel back the layers of uncertainty and examine the traumatic issues that I needed to work through in order to get better.”

Mr. Steen served more than 13 years in prison as part of a three strikes life sentence based on a Robbery 2 conviction — a charge which is no longer considered a “strike” offense since the enactment of SB 5288 in 2019. While incarcerated, Mr. Steen participated in substance use disorder treatment programs, meditation programs, and education classes — including teaching classes on managing addiction to other people who are incarcerated.

KCPAO Deputy Chief of Staff and Chair of the Sentence Review Unit, Carla Lee, with pro bono defense counsel from the Seattle Clemency Project.

Our office advocated for SB 5164 (you can watch Dan Satterberg’s testimony here), which requires prosecutors to resentence individuals who are serving life without the possibility of parole on a three strikes case involving a Robbery 2 charge.

Despite the fact that Robbery 2 is no longer a strike offense, there are still individuals like Mr. Steen who are serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole based on the old law. Our Sentence Review Unit is working hard to undo these extraordinary sentences, which were delivered as a result of past-era policies which no longer align with how these cases would be handled today.