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Wyoming Juvenile Sentencing Out Of Sync With U.S. Courts

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Proposals to bring Wyoming law into compliance with U.S. Supreme Court rulings on mandatory life sentences for juveniles have failed in committee.

The Associated Press reports two bills fell short in the Joint Judiciary Interim Committee Thursday because two members were absent, so supporters couldn’t muster the five votes necessary for a majority.

It wasn’t clear whether supporters would make another attempt at changing the law.

The proposals were prompted by a Supreme Court decision barring mandatory life sentences for juveniles.

One would have either eliminated life without parole for juveniles. Another would have required a hearing to consider a young offender’s age and maturity before sentencing.

Wyoming Attorney General Gregory Phillips says the committee’s decision will create confusion in the courts and leave judges without direction from lawmakers.

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