Colorado Juvenile Sentencing

In light of Supreme Court decisions banning life without parole for juvenile offenders, dozens of Colorado prisoners who committed crimes as minors could be eligible for release, but only one has been freed so far.

It’s been more than a year since the U.S. Supreme Court made its’ 2012 ban on such sentences retroactive, prompting the state to review the cases of current inmates who were juveniles at the time they were jailed.

Colorado ended juvenile life-without-parole in 2006 but had 48 such sentences between 1990 and 2006, when the punishment was an option. Officials say four inmates have been resentenced – none to life without parole – and one has been released.

In May, Colorado’s high court said extra-long juvenile sentences don’t violate the federal decision that inmates must have a meaningful opportunity to seek release.

Colorado has nearly three dozen inmates who committed crimes as juveniles serving 50 years or more.