AG Schuette Not Backing Down on Keeping Juvenile Lifers Behind Bars

Sep 24, 2012

State Attorney General Bill Schuette isn’t done trying to make sure everyone sentenced as juveniles to life without parole in Michigan remains behind bars.

As Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reports, the U.S. Supreme Court in June declared mandatory life sentences for juveniles unconstitutional.

The state Supreme Court recently rejected Bill Schuette’s effort to halt re-sentencing of juvenile lifers. Now the attorney general plans to file next week to join a state Court of Appeals case. It involves a 21-year-old man who was convicted of helping his half-brother kill a woman.

Schuette hopes to make the case that the recent U-S Supreme Court ruling shouldn’t apply to people already behind bars. His spokesperson, Joy Yearout, says that would not be fair to victims’ families.

“He wants to make sure that victims have their voices heard, and are not re-victimized however this process is enacted here in Michigan,” she says.

The A-C-L-U of Michigan says the Supreme Court intended for the ruling to apply retroactively. There are more than 360 juvenile lifers currently behind bars in Michigan.