Courts
10:52 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Juvenile lifers get another chance

DETROIT, MI (AP)--   A federal judge says all Michigan inmates serving no-parole sentences for murder committed as juveniles are entitled to a chance at release. 

Judge John Corbett O'Meara says a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down mandatory no-parole sentences applies retroactively to Michigan inmates already behind bars.

O'Meara's decision Wednesday trumps a ruling last fall by the Michigan appeals court, which said retroactivity would not apply for most.

O'Meara says it's a "matter of law and morality" that the Supreme Court decision cover all. He's directed attorneys for the state and for inmates to propose a way to hold parole hearings.

Those next steps will be litigated for months.