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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.