Lawmakers OK sentencing rules for young killers
Wed, 12 Feb 2014 19:52:14 GMT —
Michigan lawmakers have given final approval to new sentencing rules after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down mandatory life imprisonment for juveniles.
Bills approved Wednesday by the Senate head to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.
The legislation applies to future cases and not retroactively to more than 350 Michigan inmates under 18 when they committed crimes.
Juveniles can still be sentenced to life without parole. The sentence just can't be mandatory on judges, who must consider factors such as defendants' immaturity.
Legislators are divided over whether current inmates sentenced as juveniles should have a chance at parole.
A federal judge recently directed Michigan to give juvenile lifers an opportunity to apply for release. The ruling was appealed.