Court Rejects Challenge To Juvenile Sentence

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The California Supreme Court has rejected a constitutional challenge to a criminal sentence of 50 years to life for a juvenile convicted of murder. The court in its ruling Thursday cited a state law that gives juvenile offenders the right to a parole hearing within 25 years. Associate Justice Goodwin Liu, writing for the majority, said the law makes the claim that the 50-year-to-life sentence is unconstitutional moot. That's in part because it provides the defendant with the possibility of release after serving 25 years. Attorneys for the defendant, Tyris Franklin, had argued that a mandatory 50-year-to-life sentence was the equivalent of life without parole and banned by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. A call to an attorney for Franklin was not immediately returned.