Officials to protest proposed parole law

May 24, 2009 at 8:59 PM
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LANSING, Mich., May 24 (UPI) -- Officials in Michigan intend to protest a proposal Tuesday to make juveniles convicted as adults eligible for parole after 10 years in prison.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is among those expected to protest the proposed change that would extend to cases of premeditated murder with a mandatory sentence of life without parole, The Detroit News reported Sunday

The newspaper said there are about 300 inmates serving life without chance of parole in Michigan prisons who were juveniles when they committed their crimes but were tried and sentenced as adults.

About half of them are convicted murderers, said Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a co-sponsor of the bill.

"There is a lot of emotion on this issue," Meadows was quoted by the newspaper as saying. "There has been a sort of worldwide movement to eliminate this particular penalty for juveniles. The movement here is to examine whether we should take juveniles tried as adults and assume none of them can ever be rehabilitated."

A similar proposal passed the House last year, but the bill died in the Senate.

"The Legislature is creating a problem where none exists," Worthy said. "There are many examples of juvenile offenders that should be imprisoned for life."

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