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Governor Vetoes Juvenile Offenders Bill

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Governor Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would have allowed the state to continue sending juvenile offenders to prison with no chance for parole.

The proposal would have made it the judge's sole responsibility in sentencing minors removing the jury from its role in sentencing offenders younger than 18. District attorneys from around the state supported the bill saying life without parole should remain a sentencing option, especially for violent offenders.

In 2012 the Supreme Court limited the use of life terms in prison for murderers under 18, ruling that judges must consider the defendant’s youth and the nature of the crime before putting him behind bars with no hope for parole.

There are now 20 states and the District of Columbia that prohibit sentences of life without parole for juveniles, including neighboring Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, and Colorado.

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