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(Neb.)- Nebraska Panel Advances Juvenile Lifers Bill

By: Jeremy Anderson Posted at: 02/21/2013 11:01 AM
     LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Convicted murderers in Nebraska who committed their crime as juveniles would serve a minimum sentence of 30 years to life, under a new bill that advanced out of a legislative committee.
     The Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve the measure for debate in the full Legislature.
     Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha introduced the bill in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Miller v. Alabama, which prohibited life-without-parole sentences for crimes committed by juveniles.
     Ashford says the bill won't apply to juveniles who have already been sentenced. Concerns have been raised that doing so could render the measure unconstitutional.
     Lawmakers are trying to find a new minimum that balances the need for justice with the recognition that adolescent brains haven't fully developed.


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