PROVIDENCE, R.I. — An effort to ban juvenile life-without-parole sentences has failed this year in Rhode Island.
Many states are taking a new look at such sentences following decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, which has said mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional and should be rare. The court has said they should only be imposed after the offender’s life circumstances, crime and potential for rehabilitation are considered.
In Rhode Island, the state has never sought life without parole for a juvenile.
Democratic Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says prosecutors shouldn’t be precluded from seeking one for a juvenile who commits an “unimaginably horrific crime.”
The state Senate voted 28-8 this year for legislation effectively eliminating life without parole for juveniles, but it did not pass the House.