Bill allowing parole for juvenile murderers heads to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick

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BOSTON — A compromise version of a bill that would allow parole for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder has reached Gov. Deval Patrick's desk.

The bill would make juveniles convicted of first-degree murder eligible for parole after serving prison sentences of 20 to 30 years.

The bill sets a range of 25 to 30 years for convictions involving premeditation and a minimum of 30 years for convictions involving extreme atrocity or cruelty.

The legislation also prohibits the Department of Correction from limiting treatment including education, substance abuse, anger management and vocational training programs.

The bill comes in response to recent judicial decisions that ruled that juvenile sentences without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional.

The bill won final approval by the Legislature on Thursday and needs Patrick's signature before becoming law.

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