Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Michigan Juvenile Life in Prison without Parole

8. November 2005 • Jason Voss
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Last Tuesday, state senator introduced legislation to bar Michigan juveniles from being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Noting a study showing Michigan is the second-most aggressive state in imposing life-without-parole sentences on juveniles, Sen. Liz Brater of Ann Arbor, announced a four-bill package she said would give children who commit violent crimes a second chance at life.

According to a report issued by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, 306 prisoners in the state are serving life sentences without a chance of parole for crimes committed before the age of 18. Almost half of them, committed their crimes before age 16.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International released a study earlier this month showing that at least 2,225 juvenile offenders are serving life sentences without chance of parole in the United States, compared to a total of 12 elsewhere in the world. Michigan had the second-highest rate of giving youths life sentences without a chance of parole.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has said she is open to considering changes in the current law.

(from Black Box Radio local headlines 11-08-2005)