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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Bill giving teen killers chance at parole advances in Senate

Bill giving teen killers chance at parole advances in Senate

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Under pressure from a Supreme Court ruling, Louisiana senators are advancing a proposal that would give teenagers who have committed homicide a chance at parole after serving 35 years of a life sentence.

In January, the high court extended its 2012 ruling striking down automatic life terms with no chance of parole for crimes committed by people under the age of 18, to include those convicted long ago.

A bill from Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Kenner, aims to make Louisiana law conform with that ruling, allowing those currently serving life sentences for first- or second-degree murder to be eligible for a parole hearing. Agreeing that Louisiana must comply with the Supreme Court ruling, a Senate judiciary committee signed off on the bill and sent it to the full Senate for debate.

Supporters of the bill said about 300 Louisiana prisoners were sentenced to life without parole as juveniles. Parole Board members would have the final ruling on whether an offender should be released.

Senate Bill 127:

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