No life without parole in Hawaii for those younger than 18

July 31, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) — While many states grapple with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that bans mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles, that’s not an issue for Hawaii.

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety says none of its inmates is serving life without parole for a crime committed while they were 17 or younger.

Five years ago, the Supreme Court barred mandatory life-without-parole sentences for anyone under 18 convicted of murder. Last year, the court made its ruling retroactive, saying the more than 2,000 offenders already serving such sentences must get a chance at resentencing.

In 2014, the Hawaii Legislature abolished life without parole for people younger than 18. Lawmakers say children are constitutionally different from adults and those differences must be considered when children are sentenced for adult crimes.

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