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Connecticut News

In Conn., Parole Hearings Begin For Juveniles With Long Prison Terms

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A Connecticut board is set to begin new parole hearings for juvenile offenders who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

The hearings are the result of state legislation approved last year that brought Connecticut in line with a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on long prison sentences for juveniles.

Connecticut's law eliminated automatic life sentences for juvenile offenders. It also established new parole eligibility rules for people sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for crimes committed when they were under 18.

The Board of Pardons and Paroles is scheduled to hold its first hearing on Wednesday. The board will review the case of Owen Mason, who's serving a 12-year sentence for a 2005 fatal shooting in Bridgeport when he was 17.

Officials plan to hold hearings about every week. More than 200 prisoners qualify for the hearings.