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BALTIMORE (AP) — A Supreme Court decision triggering new sentences for inmates serving mandatory life without parole for crimes committed as minors is having a greater effect: Lawyers are applying its fundamental logic to a larger population of prisoners — those whose sentences include a parole provision but who stand little chance of release.
Since the 2016 decision, dozens serving without parole have been resentenced. Now challenges are being argued on behalf of former teen offenders sentenced to life with parole — a population one advocacy group says totals 7,300 nationwide.
The Supreme Court hasn't ruled on the constitutionality of these lengthy alternative sentences. But courts in some states, including New Jersey, have ordered new sentences.
Parole-review processes vary greatly by state. A prisoner denied parole typically waits years for another chance.