LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) —
Nebraska lawmakers are trying to set a new minimum prison sentence for
convicted murderers who committed their crimes as juveniles.
began debate Monday on a sentencing bill, introduced in response to
last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidated
life-without-parole sentences for juveniles.
Sen. Brad Ashford,
chairman of the Judiciary Committee, presented a bill amendment that
would set a 30-year minimum sentence for Nebraska offenders. The
proposal would also allow judges to consider potential mitigating
factors in sentencing, including an offender's age, maturity and
participation in rehabilitation programs.
Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh
of Omaha is proposing a minimum 60-year sentence. Lautenbaugh argues
that a 30-year sentence would let inmates qualify for release in as few
as 15 years, under current sentencing guidelines.