A legislative push to plug a loophole in state law to punish 17-year-old capital murderers faced vigorous scrutiny on Tuesday over whether a proposed minimum sentence of 40 years in prison would withstand court challenges.
The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee took up the issue after the Texas Senate last week approved a bill that would have allowed for 17-year-olds convicted of capital murder to be sentenced to life with parole. The U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled that youths under age 18 cannot be sentenced to life without parole.
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