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Posted: Wednesday, 09 July 2014 11:30AM

Michigan Supreme Court Ruling On Juvenile Lifers Won't Apply To Eliason

Most juvenile offenders sentenced to life in prison will not be receiving new sentences in Michigan. The state Supreme Court ruled 4-3 yesterday that there will not be retroactivity following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2012 that called the sentences unconstitutional. Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic tells WSJM News that the case of Dakotah Eliason will have retroactivity.


Sepic notes state law changed while Eliason was appealing his sentence of life in prison without parole for the murder of his grandfather in March 2010. A date for a re-sentencing of Eliason has not been set. The Niles man was 14 at the time of the murder. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said the ruling should "bring a measure of peace to the many families who struggled with the possibility of painful re-sentencing hearings." Sepic is pleased with the ruling on behalf of the families of victims.


There will be 10 cases from Berrien County in which the life without parole sentences of juvenile murderers will remain in place.


There are more than 350 inmates in Michigan serving no-parole sentences for murders committed as teenagers who will not get new sentencing hearings.


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