Lawmakers limit juvenile sentences

Posted at 6:31 AM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 08:31:59-04

Colorado's legislature has passed a bill bringing the state in line with U.S. Supreme Court rulings that ban mandatory life sentences without parole for youth offenders.

The House passed a bill Tuesday that affects 48 inmates serving life without parole. They were convicted of first-degree murder and other crimes committed as youths between 1990 and 2006.

Colorado ended the no-parole sentencing practice in 2006. The bill would help those 48 inmates seek — but not guarantee — new sentences.

It says judges may impose life without parole; life with possible parole after 40 years and credit for time served; or 30 to 50 years with possible parole and credit for time served.

A companion bill would allow any youth offender who has served at least 20 years to apply for a transition program that could lead to early parole.