Lawmakers to consider new sentences for 17-year-old murderers
Jacob Fischler, The Monitor
When the Texas Legislature meets for another special session Monday, another controversial abortion measure is expected to take center stage.
But a bill impacting the future of criminal justice in the state — a bill that passed both chambers during the regular legislative session — will also be heard again.
Just more than a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole for people under 18 violated the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
The ruling means that states like Texas — where the law on record maintains that 17 year olds who are convicted of capital murder are automatically sentenced to life without parole — have to pass new statutes.