2/02/2011

January 2, 2011

"Sentences stick for young killers: Law shift won't help murder cases"

The title of this post is the headline of this interesting article from Florida Today.  Here are a few excerpts:
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison for non-murderous crimes.  While three Florida juveniles have been resentenced, the ruling offers no relief to [those convicted of murder]....
According to a report issued in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Justice, 45 states have passed or amended legislation since 1992 making it easier to prosecute juveniles as adults.  The report states that the number of inmates under 18 confined in adult prisons more than doubled between 1990 and 2000....
Florida State University law professor Paolo Annino has spearheaded efforts to bring the possibility of parole back for juveniles sentenced to life or very long sentences.  He is the author of a bill, the Second Chance for Children in Prison Act, that would bring back the possibility of parole for children who were sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.
The children must have served at least eight years, must be considered rehabilitated, and must not have any disciplinary reports for the previous two years, among other requirements....
Annino's bill faces competition this year with a State Attorney's Association bill that would grant the possibility of parole for juveniles sentenced to life for crimes other than murder and after 25 years in prison.
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