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Hearing held in Lansing on how to rework Michigan's juvenile lifer law

Rick Pluta

Families of murder victims were among those who packed a legislative hearing room today. The hearing was on how to fix Michigan’s juvenile lifer law to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The court held that automatic life without parole for juveniles is unconstitutional.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette showed up for the hearing. He says the law should only apply to future cases, and not to the roughly 350 inmates already sentenced as juveniles to life without parole for first degree murder.

"There's no anniversaries for someone that’s lost their spouse. There are no birthday parties or grad parties when they've lost a son or a daughter," said Schuette. "And I'm just making sure that everybody remembers that."

A federal court has ruled that the roughly 350 inmates in Michigan sentenced to life without parole for juveniles should get parole hearings.

Schuette is appealing the ruling.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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