Pennsylvania Reconsiders Automatic Life In Prison Without Parole For Juveniles

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On Wednesday, Pennsylvania's highest court will take up whether to overturn the automatic life-in-prison-without-parole sentences given to two men convicted of murder when they were teenagers.

Qu'eed Batts was 14 when he shot and killed one person and wounded another six years ago in a gang initiation. Ian Cunningham was 17 when he was convicted of second degree murder.

Across the country, 29 states are having to revisit their sentencing guidelines for juveniles after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that it constituted cruel and unusual punishment to require juveniles convicted of murder to serve life in prison without parole.

Pennsylvania has more people in prison sentenced under those guidelines for juveniles than any other state — so the issue is very much on the front burner there.


  • Moriah Balingit, Pittsburgh Post Gazette reporter who covers juvenile justice. She tweets @MoriahBee

This segment aired on September 11, 2012.


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