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Mon September 24, 2012
Michigan AG continues fight to keep juvenile lifers behind bars
State Attorney General Bill Schuette has not given up on trying to keep juvenile lifers behind bars.
Next week, he plans to file to join a case before the state Court of Appeals involving a 21-year-old man convicted in 2006 of assisting a murder.
The U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles as unconstitutional.
Schuette spokeswoman Joy Yearout says the attorney general believes the ruling should not apply to people who are already serving sentences.
"For many of these cases it's been years, decades even, since the crime occurred. And these victims’ families thought they had a sense of closure. This could result in them having to be hauled back into court, relive the crime, be re-victimized again. And it would really be a mess for our justice system here in Michigan," says Yearout.
The ACLU of Michigan says the state cannot continue to keep people in jail without a new hearing if the U.S. Supreme Court says the sentence is cruel and unusual.
Michigan has more than 360 people serving mandatory life sentences for crimes committed when they were under the age of 18.