“The Chism-type cases, I would assert, are very different,” he said.
Keenan’s bill has yet to have a hearing, and if the life-without-parole option is off the table, changes will need to be made.
As we have argued, the SJC decision is as misguided as the law the U.S. Supreme Court corrected in its 2012 ruling. The high court determined that in the cases of juveniles convicted of murder, a judge must be able to weigh the facts of a case in establishing a sentence. The SJC prohibits judges from weighing the facts of individual cases. Just as mandatory life without parole sentences are an inappropriate one-size-fits-all remedy, so, too, is the SJC’s blanket prohibition of any life without parole sentences.
The Legislature should act to remedy the injustice the court has imposed on the families of the victims of juvenile killers.