BOSTON (AP) -- A group of Massachusetts lawmakers has proposed legislation that would require juveniles convicted of first-degree murder to serve a minimum of 35 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.
The proposal comes in response to recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that sentencing juveniles to life without parole is unconstitutional.
Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and Sen. Barry Finegold said the bill is aimed at giving some sense of justice to the families of murder victims who thought the people who killed their loved ones would stay in prison for the rest of their lives.
Tarr is a Gloucester Republican whose district includes Wilmington. Finegold is an Andover Democrat who also represents Dracut, Tewksbury and Lawrence.
As a result of the SJC ruling, approximately 63 people who were convicted of first-degree murder as juveniles will now be eligible for parole.