Appeals court allows life sentences for juveniles

A federal appeals court on Wednesday held that juveniles convicted of murder can be sentenced to life in prison without parole, seeking to settle a lingering debate over how the courts punish minors who commit serious offenses.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that juveniles cannot be sentenced to death and that they also can't be sentenced to life in prison without parole for rape and other non-homicide offenses. The ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, though, upheld life sentences for juveniles convicted of murder.

The decision came in the case against Kenneth Loggins, who was convicted in Alabama of killing a hitchhiker in 1994 and originally sentenced to die. He was 17 at the time of the killing, so his punishment was reduced to life without parole because the Supreme Court banned such executions in 2005.  More  PrisonerPal.com   True Crime Today  Magazine Subscriptions for Prisoners since 1975