BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s highest court has agreed to hear arguments on whether offenders serving long prison sentences for crimes committed as minors face unconstitutional hurdles to parole.
The Court of Appeals last week agreed to hear petitions involving four juvenile offenders. A key issue is whether Maryland’s parole system allows juvenile offenders a “meaningful opportunity” for release based on “demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.”
Among the cases is that of Phillip James Clements, who is awaiting resentencing after a court this year vacated five life sentences he was given in 1989.
The other cases involve Daniel Carter and James E. Bowie, who are serving life for murder and attempted murder, respectively, and Matthew Timothy McCullough, who was sentenced to 100 years for a shooting outside a high school that left a student paralyzed.
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