A U.S. Supreme Court decision banning automatic life sentences for juveniles does not apply to those already serving in Michigan.
The state Appeals Court on Friday said the Supreme Court ruling should not be applied retroactively.
Michigan’s nearly 360 so-called “juvenile lifers” will not be re-sentenced unless the state Supreme Court or the Legislature choose to act.
State Attorney General Bill Schuette says re-sentencing inmates would be too painful for victims’ families. Schuette spokesperson Joy Yearout says the Appeals Court made the right call.
“That’s exactly the type of guidance we needed to ensure crime victims will not be re-victimized at a re-sentencing hearing,” she says.
Attorneys for juvenile lifers plan to appeal the case to the state Supreme Court.
Lawmakers in Lansing are considering bills that would allow courts to re-sentence people already serving the mandatory life sentences.