Rauner OKs Ending Mandatory Life Sentences for Juveniles - NBC Chicago
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Rauner OKs Ending Mandatory Life Sentences for Juveniles

The Republican signed the measure Monday to take effect Jan. 1



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    Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bruce Rauner talks with reporters after voting in the Illinois primary election on March 18, 2014 in Winnetka, Illinois. Rauner, a private equity manager, faces off against State Senator Bill Brady, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and State Senator Kirk Dillard in the Republican primary. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

    Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation to end mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles.

    The Republican signed the measure Monday. It will take effect Jan. 1.

    The Legislature approved the bill in response to a 2012 U. S. Supreme Court ruling that sentencing people under 18 to mandatory life without parole is unconstitutional.

    The law doesn't prevent minors from being sentenced to life in prison for serious crimes. But it allows judges to take into account certain factors when issuing a sentence. They include the juvenile's age and maturity, any past abuse and the potential for the minor to be rehabilitated.

    Democratic Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park says the new law allows judges to tailor sentences to fit the crime.

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