The state’s highest court today struck down life sentences without parole for juveniles, saying that they were unconstitutional. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision came after a US Supreme Court decision that struck down automatic sentences of life without parole for juveniles. The state court, noting that it had the power to accord individuals greater rights than the US Constitution, went further by also striking down discretionary sentences of life without parole.“Given the unique characteristics of juvenile offenders, they should be afforded, in appropriate circumstances, the opportunity to be considered for parole suitability,” the SJC wrote in a decision released this morning. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Michael Levenson of the Globe staff contributed to this report.