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Wed May 6, 2009
House panel opens hearings on juvenile lifer law
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
East Lansing, MI – East Lansing, MI (MPRN) - A state House committee opened hearings Wednesday on repealing a law that allows judges to send violent juvenile offenders to prison for life with no chance of parole.
State Representative Dan Scripps says the state has too many people convicted as juveniles locked up with no chance of ever being released.
Tearful family members of victims asked the state House Judiciary Committee to keep the law as it is.
They say changing the law breaks a promise to victims' families that they would not have to face a lifetime of wondering if the killer of a loved one will be released.
Committee Chairman Mark Meadows says the bills may be limited to accessories to murder, and not the actual killers.
He says the bills should be voted on by the committee before the end of the month.