State wants appeal of juvenile lifer ruling

Feb 15, 2013

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan officials are asking a judge to call a time-out and allow an immediate appeal in a lawsuit over mandatory no-parole sentences for juveniles. 

Judge John Corbett O'Meara

The attorney general's office wants a higher court to review recent decisions by Ann Arbor federal Judge John Corbett O'Meara. He declared Michigan's mandatory no-parole law unconstitutional and wants lawyers to propose new parole procedures, in light of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court opinion last year.

In a court filing Thursday, state lawyers say O'Meara exceeded his authority. They say a review by the federal appeals court in Cincinnati is appropriate.

Attorney Deborah LaBelle says O'Meara's decision would apply to more than 350 prisoners serving mandatory no-parole sentences for murder. Attorney General Bill Schuette believes it's restricted to just five inmates in LaBelle's lawsuit.