Illinois High Court Opens Door to New Sentences for Juvenile Lifers

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The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Adolfo Davis, who was 16 when sentenced to mandatory life without parole for murder, will be eligible for new sentencing in a ruling that cracks open the door for scores of other inmates convicted while young to potentially live outside of prison as free.

The court’s opinion, issued Thursday morning, also applies retroactively to former cases of inmates sentenced as minors to life with the possibility of parole, even in homicide cases. Retroactivity, which has been adopted by such states as Texas, was something the U.S. Supreme Court left unclear in its 2012 ruling.