Ruling on juveniles serving life prompted change in Nebraska

Jul 31, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nearly all of the Nebraska prisoners serving life without parole for crimes they committed as juveniles got new sentences in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, but for some it made little difference.

Nebraska lawmakers overhauled the state's sentencing laws in 2013 in response to the high court's ruling the previous year that banned mandatory life sentences for crimes committed at age 17 or younger.

The law eliminated mandatory life without parole for juveniles and set a new sentencing range of 40 years to life for those who commit first-degree murder or kidnapping.

However, some inmates received new sentences of 80 or 90 years to life, which critics say is effectively a life sentence.

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