Missouri high court weighs life sentences for older teens

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri man says the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling against mandatory life sentences for juveniles should also apply to older teenagers.

A public defender for 43-year-old prisoner David Barnett on Wednesday told Missouri Supreme Court judges that he should have a chance to be resentenced for crimes he committed at age 19.

Barnett was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the 1996 murders of his grandparents.

His attorney says Barnett’s brain was still developing then.

But Missouri judges questioned whether it’s up to state lawmakers to change the law on mandatory life sentences for teenagers.

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