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Mass. Bill Would Allow Parole for Juvenile Killers

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BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has filed legislation that would eliminate mandatory life sentences without parole for teens under 18 convicted of first-degree murder.

The measure filed Monday would also raise the age for juvenile court jurisdiction from 17 to 18 in Massachusetts.

Under current state law, teens as young as 14 can be tried as adults for first-degree murder. Conviction on first-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence without parole in Massachusetts.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles are unconstitutional.

Patrick’s bill would still allow life sentences without parole for juveniles under certain circumstances.


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