Juvenile sentencing bill advances

By Associated Press
Published On: Mar 05 2014 03:55:10 PM EST
Updated On: Mar 05 2014 03:56:30 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

A Senate committee has approved a bill that would provide sentencing guidelines for juveniles convicted of serious felonies and tried as adults.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled states cannot impose life-without-parole sentences on juveniles, leaving Florida in need of new legislation.

Under the bill, juveniles convicted of serious felonies would receive a review hearing after 20 years of imprisonment and another after 30 years.

Juveniles convicted of murder, but not involved in the actual act of the killing, would receive a review hearing after 25 years.

Juveniles who actually pulled the trigger or committed the act would get 35-to-life with no hearing.

The bill was approved 7-to-5 with some concerns about the harshness of the bill - that juveniles mature both socially and physiologically within 20 years.

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