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January 11, 2008

Nebraska working to reform juve LWOP sentences

A helpful reader sent me this encouraging article headlined "Bill would give youngsters sentenced to life in prison hope for parole."  Here are excerpts:

Nebraska would join eight other states that have prohibited sentencing young murderers to life in prison without parole under a bill introduced Thursday in the Legislature. Nebraska currently has 30 people who were sent to prison for life before their 19th birthdays....

Under the bill introduced by State Sen. Dwite Pedersen of Omaha, those convicted of a murder that was committed before their 18th birthday could be considered for parole after 25 years. Those convicted of a murder committed before their 16th birthday could be considered for parole after 20 years.

In a recent report, Nebraska youth advocacy group Voices for Children, which supports Pedersen's bill, said "life without parole is contrary to the mission of juvenile justice."...  Eight states and the District of Columbia now prohibit the sentencing of youth offenders to life without parole. Colorado is the most recent to ban the sentence, acting in 2006.

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January 11, 2008 at 07:23 AM | Permalink


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Prof. Berman must be talking about blogging or teaching a class...

Marion Jones gets 6 months in prison. The NYTimes notes the result, but doesn't give any detail as to what transpired in the sentencing arguments and what reasons, if any, were given for the result.
It notes only the name of the sentencing judge and that the Guidelines range was 0-6 months.

In other news today, Judge Merritt of the 6th Circuit has a dissent accusing the district court below (and many federal judges generally) of "guidelinitis"). Judge Merritt isn't usually my favorite, but this one is a good read and, in my view, either gets it right or at least gives the judiciary something to think about. http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/08a0020p-06.pdf

Posted by: | Jan 11, 2008 12:37:14 PM


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