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Ill. Supreme Court ruling could mean early release

Published: Thursday, March 20, 2014 11:33 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO – An Illinois Supreme Court ruling may mean more than 100 inmates serving life sentences without parole may be released early from prison.

The Thursday ruling applies to inmates who have imprisoned for murders they committed when they were juveniles. It makes the state supreme court the latest court to rule regarding a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. That ruling determined that sentencing juveniles to life without parole constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Since then, state courts have been deciding whether the ruling should be retroactive to apply to inmates in prison for crimes they committed as juveniles.

Thursday's ruling to grant new sentencing hearings for the inmates stems from a case involving a lawsuit filed by an inmate convicted of murder when he was a juvenile.

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