Judge says Mich. juvie lifers must get hearings

By Ed White

Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered the state of Michigan to set parole hearings for inmates who are serving mandatory life sentences for murder committed as a juvenile.

Judge John Corbett O'Meara issued a sweeping two-page order Tuesday, telling the state to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down automatic no-parole sentences for anyone under 18.

O'Meara is giving the state until the end of the year to meet several conditions. They include notifying inmates of their parole eligibility and setting hearings.

O'Meara says county judges cannot veto a parole application. He also is threatening to appoint a special master if the state doesn't comply with his order.

Attorney General Bill Schuette is opposed to giving more than 300 inmates a shot at parole. An appeal is likely.

Published: Thu, Nov 28, 2013