Michigan is among a growing number of states reconsidering whether juveniles can be sentenced to life behind bars with no chance of parole, reports the Detroit News. The trend has been spurred by scientific evidence that shows teens’ brains are not fully developed, leaving them vulnerable to impulsive actions and poor choices. Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oregon, and Texas have outlawed life-without- parole sentences.
The Michigan House Judicary Committee is likely to propose legislation on the subject this fall. Charles Stimson of the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. argues that eliminating life-without-parole sentences would leave courts with few options for dealing with society’s most dangerous teen criminals. “We do have a juvenile crime problem in the U.S. that is much worse than in the rest of the world,” he said.