Proposed Plan Could Place New Minimum Sentence on Juveniles


Under a proposed plan, prisoners serving life terms for crimes as juveniles could face a new minimum sentence in Nebraska.

Those prisoners would instead face a minimum 20-year sentence.

Currently lawmakers are trying to find a new minimum for juveniles. Their dilemma being that they must balance justice with the recognition that the adolescent brain is not yet fully developed and therefore adult sentences should not be placed on them.

The bill was introduced in the wake of last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling which prohibited placing life-without-parole sentences for juveniles who commit crimes.

Supporters of the bill feel that life sentences fail to consider the mental health issues that a juvenile may have developed during their upbringing.

In November, the Nebraska Pardons Board scheduled hearings for possible changes to sentences but the move was later blocked.