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Oakland County prosecutor files resentencing notices for 22 convicted as juveniles, serving life without parole

Prosecutor’s office seeking more information in five additional Hill cases

Karen McDonald
Karen McDonald (WDIV)

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – On Monday, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald announced her office’s decisions in 22 juvenile lifer cases after completing a review under the terms of the Hill v. Whitmer (2020) class action settlement.

The Hill plaintiffs were each convicted of homicide as juveniles and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, a sentence declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama (2012) and Montgomery v. Louisiana (2016).

The Hill settlement called for prosecutors to reconsider each of those sentences and commit to a timeline for resentencing eligible individuals.

Of the 27 Oakland County based juvenile lifer cases eligible for review under the Hill settlement, McDonald withdrew motions filed by former Oakland County prosecutor Jessica Cooper for the reimposition of life without parole in 20 cases.

Once a court has resentenced the 20 people to appropriate time-bound sentences, the they may be eligible for a parole hearing.

Individuals who have already served decades in prison could become eligible for parole within several months.

The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office is seeking more information in five additional Hill cases.

“As prosecutor, my primary obligation is to keep Oakland County communities safe and to follow the law. In rendering these decisions, I am obeying the Constitution, and pursuing sentences that will keep our communities safe until these individuals are no longer a threat,” said McDonald.

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