Updated: Tuesday, 26 Jun 2012, 8:19 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 26 Jun 2012, 8:19 AM EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down automatic sentences of life in prison without parole for people under 18 years of age means North Carolina lawmakers likely will have to revisit state sentencing laws.
The justices voted 5-4 Monday to throw out mandatory life in prison without parole for juveniles nationwide. North Carolina is one of nearly 30 states that make life without parole the mandatory sentence for some form of murder for young people.
Juveniles already can't receive the death penalty.
An attorney with North Carolina's sentencing commission said legislators likely will have to create some post-conviction procedure to allow a jury or judge to determine the appropriate sentence.
The future of 25 prisoners currently serving life without parole for crimes committed under age 18 is unclear.
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