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HomeWorldMichigan’s top court to consider whether to further limit no-parole life sentences

Michigan’s top court to consider whether to further limit no-parole life sentences

DETROIT– The Michigan Supreme Court said it will hear arguments in cases that could lead to a ban on automatic life sentences for people who were 19 or 20 years old when they were involved in a major crime such as murder.

The The court has taken an important step in 2022 when it said mandatory sentences without parole for 18-year-olds convicted of murder violated the Michigan Constitution’s ban on “cruel or unusual” punishment.

Now the court will consider whether this principle should be extended to people aged 19 or 20.

In an order Friday, the Supreme Court said it would hear arguments in cases from Wayne and Oakland counties in the coming months.

Life sentences without parole are still possible in Michigan for someone 18 or younger, but they are no longer automatic. Judges must hold hearings and learn about that person’s childhood, education, potential for rehabilitation and other factors. It is up to prosecutors, if they wish, to demonstrate that a life sentence is appropriate.

Critics of life sentences for juveniles argue that their brains are not fully developed, sometimes leading to tragic decisions.

A number of states across the country have banned life sentences without parole for minors, especially after a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that took effect in 2012. in January raised the minimum age for automatic life sentences from 18 to 21.



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