Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 5:05 pm
In Miller v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that automatic life without parole for juvenile killers is unconstitutional.
In response, the Washington legislature this year passed a law that requires new, individualized sentences for these aggravated murderers.
Once the offenders have served a minimum of 25 years, they will get an automatic hearing before the state’s Sentencing Board. Not only that, the presumption is the board will release the juvenile killer unless there’s some compelling reason not to.
"These cases are very similar to the cases that we already deal with and they are emotionally-charged, there’s been obviously at least one victim of a horrible crime and sometimes more victims, they’re just challenging and the decision-making is challenging as well," said Lynn Delano chairs the board that will make the call to release or not release."
Already, one high-profile juvenile killer has been re-sentenced and is now eligible for release. He’s Barry Massey, the youngest juvenile sentenced to life without parole in the nation.