Law
2:41 pm
Sat March 15, 2014

Michigan inmates get remedy in parole ban case

DETROIT (AP) - About 130 Michigan prison inmates will have an opportunity to seek parole in a case that ends an unusual state policy of treating them as mandatory lifers.

The state won't appeal a 2013 court decision that struck down the policy and has agreed to clear the way for a parole process. Judge Deborah Servitto signed an order last week.

It's an odd case. The inmates were sent to prison with life sentences for a variety of crimes but still had a chance at parole. Then they got in trouble for possessing a weapon or committing another offense behind bars.

The consequence: No chance at release.

University of Michigan law professor Paul Reingold and students filed the lawsuit. The state said its interpretation of the law had never been questioned.