ACLU Challenges StateÂ?s Minor Life Sentence Law 11-18-2010 - WNEM TV 5

ACLU Challenges StateÂ?s Minor Life Sentence Law 11-18-2010

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the state of Michigan Wednesday for sentencing nine people to life without parole for crimes committed as juveniles.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, claims Michigan’s sentencing laws constitute cruel and unusual punishment and violate the constitutional rights of the inmates.
Under Michigan law, 14-year-olds charged with certain homicide felonies must be tried as adults. If convicted, they must get life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The lawsuit, which accuses the state of denying the now-adult prisoners any opportunity to demonstrate rehabilitation, is part of a national campaign, led by the ACLU to overturn juvenile laws.
The ACLU says more than 350 Michigan inmates are serving mandatory life terms for crimes committed before their 18th birthdays.
All nine inmates in the suit were sentenced for first-degree murder or felony murder.
WNEM TV5's Johnathan Lowe has the full report:
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