California's Minor Life-Without-Parole Law Blasted as Unfair

Posted August 01, 2017

Taylor's case, critics say, demonstrates how California law fails to follow recent rulings by both the United States and California supreme courts and the need for a new law that would automatically give youthful offenders a chance at parole after 25 years.

But an Associated Press review has found the gate of freedom slow to open, including in Oregon.

The rulings affect five men sentenced to life in New Hampshire.

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Court records show OR still has five men serving true-life sentences for crimes committed as minors.

Minnesota inmates who were sentenced to mandatory life without parole for murders they committed when they were teenagers are being resentenced to life with the possibility of release after 30 years. The most prominent is Thurston High School shooter Kip Kinkel. That figure includes three inmates who had death sentences changed to life without parole after the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 banned capital punishment for offenders under 18. But the multistep process doesn't guarantee a hearing, and California's justices ruled past year that it therefore fails to meet the Supreme Court's decisions.

Devonere Simmonds of Columbus is serving a life sentence without parole for a July 2013 crime spree that left two people dead, when Simmonds was 17.

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In 2012, the high court barred states from imposing mandatory no-parole terms on juveniles convicted of murder.

However, corrections officials say there are no known inmates facing life terms without parole for juvenile offenses. They generally aren't eligible for that until they've served 40 years.

The Missouri Supreme Court continues to sort out such cases.

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Bryant has filed a petition challenging his life-without-parole sentence. Blizzard, now 52, was released from prison in 2014, one of more than a dozen convicted killers in DE who were resentenced after initially being given life in prison for crimes committed as juveniles. The appeals court left his sentence in place.