ACLU report highlights lack of parole for juvenile ‘lifers’
A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union says Maryland is one of four states where more than 10 percent of prisoners serving parole-eligible life sentences were juveniles when they committed their crime.
Citing the report, The Daily Record of Baltimore reported that none of the nearly 200 state offenders who fit that category has been approved for release in the last 20 years.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit in April saying Maryland’s parole system for juveniles is unconstitutional.
The U.S. Supreme Court has said mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles are almost always unconstitutional.
Maryland doesn’t have mandatory life-without-parole sentences, but the ACLU notes the lack of offenders who actually have been paroled.
The report says parole boards focus on the offense’s seriousness rather than the larger context.