On November 9th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments challenging the constitutionality of juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentences. In preparation for oral arguments, JLWOP: Faces & Cases will be an on-going series on The Foundry that will tell real stories about juvenile offenders who are currently serving LWOP sentences.
Defendant: Jesus Mandujano (17)
Victims: J. Sacramento Benitez-Hernandez and an Unknown female
Crimes: Felony murder, Assault with intent to commit rape and other crimes
Crime date: January 3, 1992, and April 2, 1992 in San Jose, California
Three months after robbing and murdering a man in his own home, Jesus Mandujano invaded another home, assaulting the men there and sexually assaulting one of two women whom he forced to undress.
A Mexican native, Jesus Mandujano was from the town of Nuevo Italia in the State of Michoacan, Mexico. He migrated northwards and, in 1992, began his career in the United States as a burglar.
On January 3, 2002, Mandujano and some fellow gang members entered the home of J. Sacramento Benitez-Hernandez. Benitez-Hernandez’s sister sold jewelry from the home, and Mandujano and his fellow gang members intended to get some money. Mandujano, armed with a handgun, confronted Benitez-Hernandez, who fled to his bedroom and closed the door. Mandujano shot him through the bedroom door, killing him.
On April 2, 1002, Mandujano participated in another home robbery in San Jose. During the robbery, he pistol-whipped several men in the house and forced two women to undress, threatening to cut off their breasts if they did not comply. He then sexually assaulted one of the females in a bedroom.
Charles D. Stimson is Senior Legal Fellow and Andrew M. Grossman is Senior Legal Policy Analyst in the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.