DETROIT — In the wake of U.S. Supreme Court decisions banning mandatory life without parole for juvenile offenders, The Associated Press has surveyed all 50 states to see how officials are revisiting sometimes decades-old cases.
A court ruling last year said some 2,000 inmates already serving these sentences must get a chance to show their crimes did not reflect irreparable corruption and, if not, have some hope for freedom.
But the AP finds that uncertainty and opposition stirred by the ruling have resulted in an uneven patchwork of policies. The odds of release vary by state and even county in a pattern that can make justice seem arbitrary. Some states have resentenced and released dozens. Others have delayed case reviews or fought to keep inmates locked up for life.