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Stephen Breyer

Justices extend bar on automatic life terms for teenagers

More than 1,000 prison inmates, some behind bars more than 50 years for murders they committed as teenagers, will get a chance to seek their freedom under a Supreme Court decision announced Monday.

The justices voted 6-3 to extend an earlier ruling from 2012 that struck down automatic life terms with no chance of parole for teenage killers. Now, even those who were convicted long ago must be considered for parole or given a new sentence.

The court ruled in favor of Henry Montgomery, who has been in prison more than 50 years for killing a sheriff's deputy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1963. Montgomery was 17 years old and playing hooky from high school when he encountered...

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