BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland officials say nearly 300 inmates serving life sentences for crimes they were convicted of as juveniles will get new parole hearings within the next year.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the state laid out its plan in new filings in a federal court case that claims Maryland’s parole system for juveniles is unconstitutional. Attorneys for the state are urging the court to dismiss the lawsuit.
Sonia Kumar, an attorney for ACLU, dismissed the plan for hearings as an “obvious attempt to offer superficial changes.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has said mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional except for in rare cases. Maryland doesn’t have mandatory life-without-parole sentences, but critics note that no juvenile serving a life sentence in Maryland has been paroled in the last two decades.
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