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Court questions life without parole for juveniles

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court is debating whether young teenagers convicted of killing someone may be locked up for life with no chance of parole, the latest in a line of cases seeking a second chance for young people.

The justices are looking at two cases Tuesday involving teenagers serving life sentences. In one, a 14-year-old in Alabama beat a man, then set fire to his home. In the other, a 14-year-old in Arkansas didn’t pull the trigger, but was in on an attempted robbery in which another boy shot and killed a store clerk.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote earlier opinions ruling out the death penalty for juveniles and life without parole sentences for young people whose crimes did not involve killing. He seemed to be the pivotal justice in Tuesday’s arguments.

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