Mo. lawmakers plot new plan for juvenile lifers

Feb 3, 2014

prison cell
Credit mikecogh / Flickr

More than 80 Missourians are serving sentences of life without parole that the U.S. Supreme Court says are unconstitutional because they were juveniles at the time of their crime.

A Missouri state senator has introduced legislation that would allow those 83 people convicted of first-degree murder to receive a new sentencing hearing.

The measure would allow those older than 16 to serve life without parole or a 50-year minimum sentence. Offenders younger than 16 could also spend their lives behind bars or be eligible for parole after 35 years.

In 2012, the high court said states can't automatically impose life without parole sentences for juveniles. It said states must account for differences between juveniles and adults when sentencing them for murder.