Lawsuit challenges no parole for Mich. juveniles

DETROIT (AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging a Michigan law that bars any chance at parole for juveniles convicted of certain murders.

Attorney Deborah LaBelle says it's a violation of the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment. She filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Detroit on behalf of nine people who were convicted of murders committed at age 17 or under.

The plaintiffs include 28-year-old Matt Bentley, who was convicted of a fatal shooting that occurred in 1997 in Huron County when he was 14.

LaBelle says it's not fair that teens can't go to the parole board and seek release, based on their rehabilitation in prison and other factors.

LaBelle is an Ann Arbor lawyer handling the case for the ACLU.

Published: Fri, Nov 19, 2010