Should juveniles be able to receive parole, or should they serve a life sentence if convicted? by Dave Kinchen

Henry Hill was convicted of homicide in 1980. He was 16 years old.  / ACLU.org
ACLU represents nine inmates serving life sentences
LANSING, SAGINAW -- Update: April 21st, 6:15 p.m.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office is not commenting on the lawsuit against several state officials, including Gov. Rick Snyder, protesting the state’s ban on parole eligibility for inmates serving life sentences following convictions received when they were minors.
However, NBC25 was able to obtain a brief filed by the AG’s office which is critical of the suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of nine inmates.   
The brief states, “Under Michigan law, the applicable limitations period is three years.  Plaintiffs’ claims, therefore, are barred by the statute of limitation.”  It further states, “Each of the plaintiffs could have litigated the constitutional challenges raised in this case in their respective state court criminal cases and appeals.”
The ACLU argues that denial of parole based on juvenile convictions “constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.”
One of the plaintiffs is Henry Hill.  Now 45, Hill was convicted of first degree murder in a July, 1980 shooting death in Saginaw’s Wickes Park.  On its website, the ACLU says Hill and a group of friends went to confront another group they had been feuding when the shooting happened. 
The actual shots that resulted in death came from a friend of Hill’s, but Hill was charged with first degree murder and aiding and abetting for firing a different gun into the air, in an attempt to scare other people out of the park at the time of the altercation. 
NBC25 was unable to reach attorneys for Hill, or the ACLU directly for comment.  Federal Judge John O’Meara is hearing the case and indicated he will rule within a few weeks.
Update: April 21st, 4:15 p.m.
By Allison Hillaker
The Associated Press is reporting that Judge John Corbett O'Meara will rule in several weeks on this controversy.

Original Post: April 21st, 10:50 a.m.
By Allison Hillaker
A battle is going on in Michigan’s federal court Thursday on whether juveniles, sentenced to life, should be able to get parole.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is arguing on behalf of nine Michigan inmates who were sentenced to life without parole when they were minors.  The ACLU states that, “denying the plaintiffs an opportunity for parole constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and violates their constitutional right to a fair hearing to demonstrate their maturity and rehabilitation, as well as customary international human rights law which prohibits the imposition of life sentences without the possibility of parole on anyone under the age of 18.”
The Associated Press reports one of the inmates is Henry Hill Junior of Saginaw.  Hill was sentenced in 1980 for homicide. He was 16 years old.
The AP reports that state lawmakers claim the plaintiffs waited too long challenge the life without parole sentence.
Read more about the ACLU's claims, and stories on the inmates here.Let us know what you think. Should juveniles be able to receive parole, or should they be forced to serve a life sentence if convicted of homicide? 

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