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Michigan still lags in complying with Supreme Court and re-sentencing juvenile lifers

Aug 3, 2017

When it comes to re-sentencing inmates who were sentenced to life without parole as juveniles, Michigan is lagging behind just about every other state.

Back in December, we brought you a series of stories about the juvenile lifers in Michigan prisons.

We dug into how Michigan prosecutors have responded to a pair of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that made it very clear that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles are unconstitutional.

Those rulings meant that the more than 360 juvenile lifers in Michigan were eligible for re-sentencing, and possibly a second chance. In short, the Supreme Court said that juveniles were capable of rehabilitation.

And that's exactly what one of Michigan's juvenile lifers — John Hall — said when we spoke with him back in March. He was released from prison after he served more than 50 years behind bars.

Deborah LaBelle, an Ann Arbor-based attorney, is director of the Juvenile Life Without Parole Initiative with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). She joined Stateside today to bring us an update on this important question:

Are the inmates in Michigan who were sentenced to life without parole when they were juveniles getting that second chance?

Listen above for LaBelle's answer. 

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