Published: Mon, July 31, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Utah men still have life without parole for teen crimes

Utah men still have life without parole for teen crimes

Many states are taking a new look at juvenile life without parole following a U.S. Supreme Court decision a year ago, but that ruling appears to have little impact in Indiana.

"This is a new area of the law", Sutter said.

Beyond those eight, several more are serving de facto life sentences, terms so long they amount to death behind bars. The rulings say juveniles are different because of poor judgment based on their age, their susceptibility to negative influences and their greater capacity for change. The court's majority said the U.S. Supreme Court ruling didn't address the consequences of multiple sentences. Such discretionary sentences aren't explicitly covered under the Supreme Court's decision, prosecutors have argued.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals spelled out new sentencing guidelines late past year when it tossed the life-without-parole sentence of Chancey Luna, who was 16 when he fatally shot Christopher Lane, 22, a college baseball player from Australia who was jogging in Duncan.

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The move to consider an offender's age in NY is the latest example of how the state's view of juvenile offenders is changing.

NY state now considers an inmate's age at the time of the crime to ensure that offenders receiving long sentences as juveniles have a legitimate chance at release. "The 51-to-life is the most extreme so-called alternative to the law that I've heard".

The AP spent months reviewing how counties and states are wrestling with re-examining juvenile life without parole.

The Board of Parole immediately changed its procedures after a 2016 state appellate court decision and is working on final regulations to codify the change, according to state corrections agency spokeswoman Rachel Heath. Another man convicted of capital murder as a teen - Randy Ross - was recently resentenced to 99 years. Malvo was handed two life sentences in 2004 after a jury convicted him of two counts of capital murder.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has been clear and consistent: In successive decisions over more than a decade, the justices said the harshest punishments levied against adult criminal offenders are unconstitutionally cruel and unusual when imposed on juveniles.

Some of the eight have appeals pending on various aspects of their cases.

Carey said that because juveniles convicted of first-degree murder had previously been sentenced to life without the chance for parole, they weren't always given an opportunity to participate in programs aimed at rehabilitation, including job training, substance abuse treatment and counseling.

"They are frustrated", Jones said of his clients.

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