Bill banning automatic life sentences to juveniles set for hearing
Michigan House bills to ban automatic life sentences for anyone aged 18 and under are set for a committee hearing tomorrow [TUES].
Under the new bills, the longest sentence youths could receive would be 60 years—with the possibility for parole after 10 years.
Democratic Representative Amos O’Neal says this is an effort to give people an opportunity for redemption.
O'Neal said, "Notwithstanding these heinous crimes that many folks have made comments about, and we’ve got carveouts for that. You know? People make bad choices at their early stages in life. There are different persons from 14 and 15 than they are at 45 and 50."
Opponents to the bills worry ten years is too soon for someone who commits a serious crime to be able to leave prison.
The bills would codify existing court precedent banning children from receiving automatic life sentences.