PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Pennsylvania leads the nation in those serving mandatory life without parole sentences for crimes committed as minors. Courts are now working to revisit those cases and issue new sentences, and those moves have already resulted in the release of 58 inmates.
After the U.S. Supreme Court barred such sentences for juveniles in 2012, Pennsylvania officials argued that did not apply to those already in prison. Then last year the high court said the ban must be applied retroactively, triggering new sentencing hearings and parole for inmates nationwide.
In Pennsylvania, judges have resentenced more than 100 of 517 juvenile lifers, many now in their 50s and 60s. Prison officials and advocates are working to prepare inmates to return to a world very different from the one they knew.
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