Juvenile lifers win key ruling over good behavior credits

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has struck down a law that bars some Michigan prisoners from getting credit for good behavior.

The decision could clear the way for faster parole hearings for prisoners who were convicted of murder when they were teens.

Federal Judge Mark Goldsmith says it was unconstitutional for lawmakers to retroactively cut off good behavior or discipline credits for juvenile lifers in homicides that occurred before 1999.

Dozens have been resentenced to shorter sentences because of a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision. Goldsmith’s ruling, released Monday, is important because credits could move prisoners even closer to freedom.

The judge turned down the state’s request to suspend his decision for 14 days so it can pursue an appeal.