Pennsylvania highest court grapples with life terms for kids

    Pennsylvania’s highest court is considering what to do about inmates serving life without parole for crimes committed as juveniles after the U.S. Supreme Court limited that punishment to the most extreme cases.

    The state Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments in 25-year-old Qu’eed Batts’ request for a new sentencing hearing. He’s convicted of killing a teenager and wounding a man in a gang-related attack in Easton a decade ago.

    The court will decide whether to establish new rules for sentencing juvenile killers and, if so, whether they should include the types of legal safeguards in place for defendants facing the death penalty.

    Court records say Batts shot the two men in an effort to impress members of the Bloods gang. He’s twice been sentenced to life without parole.

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