What We Know: More lifers get chance for release from prison

AP News
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Posted: Jan 25, 2016 5:29 PM

The Supreme Court is giving more than 1,000 lifers a chance to seek release from prison. Key takeaways from Monday's decision:

—The court in 2012 struck down automatic life terms with no chance of parole for teenage killers. Under Monday's 6-3 ruling, even teenagers who were convicted long ago must be considered for parole or given new sentences.

— About 1,200 inmates in seven states may now qualify for parole hearings. Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana and Pennsylvania previously had refused to apply the court's 2012 ruling to those inmates.

— States don't have to resentence people who are serving life terms. They can offer parole hearings, which don't guarantee release.

—The court ruled in the case of Henry Montgomery, who has been in prison more than 50 years for killing a sheriff's deputy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1963, when he was 17.

—Montgomery was skipping high school when he encountered Deputy Charles Hurt on truant patrol. Montgomery pulled a gun from his pocket and shot Hurt in a panic, he said.