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Posted: Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 12:19 PM HST

Hawaii lawmakers weigh parole for juveniles

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Juvenile offenders in Hawaii could no longer be sentenced to life without parole under a bill scheduled for a vote by state lawmakers.

The bill up for a vote in the House on Tuesday would guarantee the possibility of parole to prisoners convicted of first degree murder or first degree attempted murder before they turned 18. House approval would send the bill to the state Senate.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 found that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles is unconstitutional. Several states, including Texas, Wyoming, California and Delaware, have since revised laws to ensure juvenile offenders will have the chance at a parole review.

The United States is the only country in the world that allows the option of sentencing juvenile offenders to life without parole.

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