Nearly two years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prison inmates who killed as teenagers are capable of change and may deserve eventual freedom, the question remains unresolved: Which ones should get a second chance?
Now the ruling — which came in the case of a 71-year-old Louisiana inmate still awaiting a parole hearing — is being tested again in that same state. Prosecutors there have moved to keep about 1 in 3 former juvenile offenders locked up for the rest of their lives.
The action by Louisiana prosecutors echoes the approach in Michigan, where district attorneys are seeking to keep two-thirds of 363 juvenile life inmates behind bars for good. That state’s cases have been on hold awaiting a ruling on whether judges or juries should decide them.
This story is part of an Associated Press series examining the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling opening the door for the possible release of former teen offenders sentenced to life without parole.