Advocates hope to revive juvenile sentencing bill

Connecticut State Rep. Stephen Dargan, D-West Haven, left, and House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, R-Nowalk, right, speak to one another as House Majority Leader Joseph Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, center, looks on at the Capitol on the final day of session, Wednesday, May 7, 2014, in Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Advocates of a failed bill that would have revamped Connecticut’s juvenile sentencing rules following two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings are hoping lawmakers will resurrect it before the 2015 General Assembly session.

The rulings essentially require states to give juvenile offenders with lengthy sentences a chance for parole.

If nothing happens soon, advocates predict judges will begin issuing potentially disparate decisions on 60 pending appeals. They say that would create confusion and chaos in the system.

Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney doesn’t foresee a special session unless there’s an agreement from Senate Republicans not to offer numerous amendments, something they did to help force its demise.

The bill provided juveniles an opportunity for a parole hearing after serving 60 percent of their sentence or 12 years, whichever is longer.

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