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Prosecuting attorneys voice their opposition to life without parole sentences for juveniles

Prison Education
"Prison education" by Se315 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
Prison Education

Prosecuting attorneys from around the state… including some in Northern Michigan… are voicing opposition to bills that would outlaw life-without-parole sentences for juveniles.

Prosecutors from Grand Traverse, Antrim, Benzie, and Leelanau counties issued a joint statement last month opposing the bills.

They say the state already has a framework for ensuring that juveniles receive a fair and just sentence.

Antrim County prosecutor James Rossiter said, “It doesn't take into consideration the severity… not to mention the fact that you now have to tell the victim's families why somebody who they thought was going to be spending the rest of their life in prison, maybe getting out.”

The concerns have made it to Lansing.

Republican State Representative Curt Vanderwall, who introduced the bills back in March, recently said he’d push for amendments.

The bills are currently awaiting votes in their respective committees.

Michael Livingston is a senior at Central Michigan University majoring in Journalism and International Relations. He grew up in Hartland, a small town in Livingston County. After graduation in 2022, he aspires to take his reporting abroad as a correspondent.