Ponca City, OK

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Supreme Court ruling may give hope for Oklahoma juvenile lifers

The Associated Press - July 31, 2017 11:18 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Dozens of Oklahoma inmates serving life in prison without parole have a shot at resentencing and possible release because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

But seeking a second chance won’t be a speedy process.

The high court’s 2016 ruling applies to inmates who received mandatory life without parole for killings committed when they were juveniles. Last year, the court made its ruling retroactive.

But so far, no Oklahoma inmates have been resentenced.

An analysis by the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System shows the ruling affects at least 41 criminal defendants in Oklahoma.

Indigent Defense System director Craig Sutter says he expects the decision will open the floodgates for appeals by those defendants. Sutter says it’s a new area of law that will evolve.

 

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