BOSTON — The Massachusetts House has approved a bill that would allow juveniles convicted of first-degree murder to be eligible for parole.
Under the bill approved on a 127-16 vote Wednesday, a person convicted of first-degree murder between their 14th and 18th birthdays could be parole eligible after serving 20 to 25 years in prison.
For crimes judged to involve deliberate premeditated malice or extreme atrocity or cruelty, the wait would be 25 to 30 years.
The state’s highest court has ruled that sentencing juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole is unconstitutional.
The bill now heads to the Massachusetts Senate.
Several relatives of murder victims came to the State House last month to support a proposal that would require juveniles convicted of first-degree murder to serve at least 35 years.