Supreme Court gets case on juvenile life sentences

Woman seeking new sentencing hearing

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The lawyer for a woman who helped commit a murder when she was 15 told the Florida Supreme Court she deserves a new sentencing hearing because of a federal ban on mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles.

The court heard arguments Thursday in the case of Rebecca Falcon, which could have far-reaching effects for juveniles who were sentenced to life-without-parole. Falcon's lawyer argued that a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling should be applied retroactively to juveniles previously convicted.

Falcon was convicted for her role in the 1997 shooting of a cab driver. She was sentenced to life under Florida law.

New legislation establishing sentencing guidelines for juveniles who are tried as adults and convicted of serious felonies is currently going through state Senate and House committees.

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