Michigan's Top Court Hears Juvenile Lifers Case - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Michigan's Top Court Hears Juvenile Lifers Case

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Attorneys for the state of Michigan have urged the state Supreme Court to deny any new benefit to more than 350 prisoners who are serving no-parole sentences for murder.

The prisoners were convicted of first-degree murder committed when they were younger than 18. Their no-parole sentence was automatic. But the U.S. Supreme Court says juveniles deserve a hearing that explores their childhood and their specific role in the crime.

The issue Thursday for the Michigan Supreme Court is whether to apply the new standard retroactively to people already in prison.

Hilary Georgia of the St. Clair County prosecutor's office says reopening the cases would be difficult for judges because many cases are old. But attorney Patricia Selby says prisoners should benefit from a substantial change in constitutional law.

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