Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette believes a judge's recent opinion on no-parole sentences for juveniles covers only five prisoners and is not a sweeping decision affecting other inmates.
Schuette's comments are in a letter to 83 county prosecutors. He says he wants to dispel what he calls "rumors" in news reports following a recent decision by federal Judge John Corbett O'Meara.
O'Meara said Michigan prisoners should have a "fair and meaningful" shot at parole now that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down mandatory no-parole sentences for crimes committed by teens, mostly murder. The judge said Michigan's parole law is unconstitutional.
But Schuette interprets O'Meara's decision as affecting only a handful of inmates who filed a lawsuit, not hundreds behind bars.
Attorney Deborah LaBelle disagrees. More court action is planned.
More than 350 prisoners in Michigan are serving mandatory no-parole sentences for murders committed when they were under 18.
That's one of the highest totals in the U.S.