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Lifetime Parol for Certain Sex Offenders Not Mandatory in Mass.

BOSTON (AP) — The highest court in Massachusetts has ruled that lifetime parole for certain sex offenders is not mandatory, but instead up to the discretion of a judge under state law.

The Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling came Monday in the case of Charles Williamson Jr., who was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender.

A judge sentenced him to one year in jail and lifetime parole, which the judge said was mandatory. The law says the two most serious levels of sex offenders are “subject to” lifetime parole — in addition to a jail sentence — if they are convicted of failing to register.

The SJC said the law makes it discretionary.

The SJC vacated Williamson’s sentence and sent the case back to the lower court for re-sentencing.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)