Colorado's juvenile lifers could get a break

KUSA - The Colorado Supreme Court is considering various options as it takes a closer look at the now unconstitutional life sentences for dozens of people found guilty of murders committed between 1990 and 2006.

The odd situation is the result of a US Supreme Court decision that rendered a life sentence without the possibility of parole for juveniles unconstitutional. Colorado's legislature and governor have so far decided not to remedy the situation thus leading to Tuesday's oral argument in front of the Colorado Supreme Court.

Justices will have to decide what to do with the sentences of close to 50 inmates sentenced to life without the possibility of parole between 1990 and 2006.

One option that will be considered is to hand down life sentences to each of the inmates but allow them to become eligible for parole after 40 years. That's the current law on Colorado for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder.

Another option would be to send the individual cases back to the trial court for resentencing.

9Wants to Know reporter Chris Vanderveen is in the courtroom and will update the story throughout the day.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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