Maine has long avoided life sentences for juveniles

July 31, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Many states are taking a new look at juvenile life without parole after a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year, but Maine has for decades avoided imposing life sentences on young people.

Only a juvenile tried as an adult can receive a life sentence in Maine, and the state attorney general’s office said it’s not aware of any cases where a juvenile has been sentenced to life. Maine eliminated parole more than four decades ago, so all life sentences are imposed without the possibility of parole.

Lawmakers haven’t recently submitted any bills to put an outright ban on such sentences for juveniles.

Maine has among the nation’s lowest incarceration rates, and the number of minors behind bars dwindled to 186 in 2010 from 381 in 1995.

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