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Massachusetts high court rules younger adults cannot be sentenced to life without parole

By STEVE LeBLANC
Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — The highest court in Massachusetts has raised from 18 to 21 the minimum age at which a person can be sentenced to mandatory life without parole. Juvenile justice advocates are praising Thursday’s narrow ruling. Sheldon Mattis was convicted of a 2011 Boston killing committed when he was 18. The ruling means Mattis and some other “emerging adults” who were 18 to 20 at the time of their crime and sentenced to life without parole will be resentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 15 years. A lawyer for Mattis says “people who are 18 are more like people who are 17 than people who are 35.”

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