Michigan inmates serving mandatory life sentences without parole for crimes they committed as minors may have a chance to pursue freedom rather than spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down Monday challenges Michigan law by stating such juvenile sentencing constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Deb Labelle, an attorney who represents several juvenile lifers on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, tells MLive.com (http://bit.ly/Ohbjj7) the opinion "provides hope" to 358 Michigan prisoners serving mandatory life sentences after being convicted of murder as minors.
She says the offender's age now will have to be considered, along with rehabilitation.
Michigan ranks second to Pennsylvania, which has 472 prisoners who were sentenced to life without parole as juveniles.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.