Juvenile Lifer hearings Should Proceed

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning is seeking a court order that would allow the state pardons board to commute the sentences of prison inmates serving life for crimes they committed as juveniles.

The attorney general filed the motion Tuesday after a Douglas County judge blocked the pardons board from holding hearings on 24 cases.

An attorney who represents 14 of the inmates says the pardons board wants to use the hearings to subvert a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that threw out mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad took similar action in July when he commuted the life-without-parole sentences of 38 convicted killers. Branstad's order made the inmates eligible for parole, but only after they had served 60 years in prison.

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