Michigan Judge John Corbett O’Meara has ruled that juveniles convicted of first-degree murder must be considered for parole.
O’Meara’s ruling demands that the state no longer enforce their mandatory-no-parole law in the wake of a landmark Supreme Court decision.
That decision – which came down last year – abolished mandatory no-parole sentences for young people under the age of 18.
Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the majority that the mandatory sentences are cruel and unusual.
“By requiring that all children convicted of homicide receive lifetime incarceration without possibility of parole, regardless of their age and age-related characteristics and the nature of their crimes, the mandatory sentencing schemes before us violate this principle of proportionality, and so the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment,” Kagan wrote.
But Mich. Attorney General Bill Schuette still “strongly disagrees” with O’Meara’s ruling and will file an appeal, according to Michigan Radio.
Hundreds of inmates who were given life-without-parole sentences while under 18 will now have a chance at parole.
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