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AG Digs In On Juvenile Lifers

February 15, 2013


An artist rendering shows Supreme Court justices in Washington, Monday, June 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Dana Verkoutere)

Michigan officials want an immediate appeal in a lawsuit over mandatory no-parole sentences for juveniles. Attorney General Bill Schuette is asking a higher court to review a federal judge’s ruling that Michigan’s juvenile lifer law is unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down mandatory juvenile life sentences last year, but there’s disagreement over whether that ruling is retroactive. Schuette has told county prosecutors to ignore both federal decisions, prompting a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against the state. WDET's Pat Batcheller spoke with Kim Thomas of the Juvenile Justice Clinic at the University of Michigan. She explains the dispute, and why she disagrees with Schuette. Click on the audio link above to hear the conversation.