Critics: MA Teen Life Without Parole Law Too Harsh


Despite its liberal reputation, Massachusetts has one of the harshest laws in the U.S. for sentencing murderers as young as 14 to life in prison without parole, and many of the 57 people serving such mandatory sentences are first-time offenders, say an advocacy group that wants them to become eligible for parole, reports the Boston Globe

The Children's Law Center of Massachusetts, in what it said was the first comprehensive study of a 1996 law that resulted in such sentences for first-degree murder, found that a disproportionate percentage of the children locked up for the rest of their lives are black. Many of the offenders were convicted with adult codefendants, some of whom got milder sentences and have been freed.

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