According to a report from Ozarks First, the Missouri Supreme Court may hear an increase in cases of juveniles convicted of first degree murder due to a new law passed earlier this year.
A new sentencing law requires Missouri to offer a life without parole or a minimum 25-year sentence for juveniles guilty of murder.
University of Missouri social work professor Clark Peters says the law could allow some to continue to argue for further leniency.
“This law was occasioned to align with the U.S. Supreme Court decision. So there wasn’t much flexibility provided. It wasn’t a matter of whether to do this but exactly how,” says Peters.
Legal experts say that this new law opens a door to more appeals by those convicted. While all citizens deserve due process and fair treatment under the law, it is important that those who commit crimes are punished for their actions. Just because the new law may provide strict punishment, first degree murderers still need to be held responsible for their actions.