California court rules juveniles' sentences unconstitutional

SAN FRANCISCO — A divided California Supreme Court has thrown out the sentences of two juveniles convicted of kidnapping and rape because the sentences didn’t provide the teens opportunity for parole until they were more than 65 years old.

In a 4-3 decision on Monday, the court said that such sentences violate the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The majority cited a 2012 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down life without parole sentences for juveniles who commit crimes other than homicide.

Associate Justice Goodwin Liu said sentences of 50 years to life or more violate the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that juveniles should have a chance to show they have changed and are ready to re-enter society.