High court ruling on juvenile lifers hasn’t impacted Indiana

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Many states are taking a new look at juvenile life without parole following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year, but that ruling appears to have limited impact in Indiana.

Indiana law allows judges to sentence those over the age of 16 to life without parole for a murder conviction. State officials say at least five men are serving such sentences.

The court in 2012 barred states from imposing mandatory life without parole on minors convicted of murder. In 2016 the court made the decision retroactive, saying most offenders already serving such sentences should get a chance to argue for release.

But Indiana's law allows judges to use discretion. Officials say this distinguishes it from the Supreme Court's ruling, which applies to mandatory life without parole sentences.

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