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Juvenile lifer bills get first House committee hearing

Ryan McGrady
CC BY-SA 4.0

Bills scheduled for a Michigan House committee hearing Tuesday would ban life sentences for anyone aged 18 and under

The package would set the new maximum sentence for youths at 60 years, with a chance for parole after 10 years.

Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan President-elect Jeff Getting says that’s too short for extreme cases, like school shootings.

“Regardless of the number of persons killed or the planning that went into it … that murderer would have a parole hearing in ten years.”

But Democratic Representative Amos O’Neal says that doesn’t mean they’d get out.

“The decisions are still left up to the parole office—the board. So a lot of folks have this misnomer that after 10 years, this person’s going to be free. That’s not the case.”

O’Neal says changes to the bills could come.

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