First ‘juvenile lifers’ in Pennsylvania granted parole

Pennsylvania officials have granted parole to four of the first five “juvenile lifers” seeking release under a new law that retroactively bans mandatory life terms for minors.

The four men being released after hearings last week have spent decades in prison for crimes they committed as minors. They are now in their 50s and 60s.

State parole board Chairman Leo Dunn said the men showed a surprising degree of optimism about their futures.

He expects it to take a few years to review all 500 cases in Pennsylvania. About 300 of the cases are from Philadelphia.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this year that more than 2,500 people across the country serving life for juvenile crimes could ask to be resentenced and seek parole.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal