Oklahoma governor to decide on juvenile life sentencing bill
The Associated Press and The Oklahoman - May 5, 2018 9:03 am
(Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com)
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin will soon decide on a bill that would only allow judges to sentence juveniles convicted of murder to life in prison without parole.
The Oklahoman reports that lawmakers introduced the measure because of U.S. Supreme Court decisions that practically eliminated mandatory life without parole sentences for offenders who are accused of killing when they were 17 or younger.
The measure would require a judge to consider the immaturity and failure to acknowledge risks and consequences associated with youth. The judge would dismiss jurors after they determine guilt.
Supporters say the bill would give clear guidelines for the justice system after the high court decisions put the future of juvenile murder prosecutions in doubt.
The bill passed the House and Senate, now awaiting a decision by Fallin.