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Tue June 26, 2012
Michigan Prepares to Re-sentence Juvenile Lifers
Arrangements are being made to return more than 350 Michigan inmates to the courts where they were sentenced. The prisoners will get new sentences under a U.S. Supreme Court decision this week.
The court struck down mandatory sentences of life without parole for people convicted of crimes committed when they were juveniles.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is advising the state Department of Corrections on how to proceed. He says Michigan will comply with the ruling. But prosecutors will make sure judges are reminded of the crimes the inmates were part of.
“There are victims involved here," he says. "There are real live people, victims and their families, who have been impacted by these brutal vicious murders and, so, someone needs to make sure that we speak up for the victims of crime.”
The court ruling says judges have to consider a felon’s age, involvement in a murder, and life circumstances as part of sentencing for a crime committed by a juvenile. The state Department of Corrections says eligible inmates in Michigan range in age from 16 to 67.