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Sentencing youth for grave crimes

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The Supreme Court has declared that life sentences for perpetrators under the age of 18 are unconstitutional. So states have been developing new sentencing laws. The Missouri legislature has a bill in the Senate, SB 790, that proposes minimum 50-year sentences for 16 and 17-year-olds who are convicted of crimes such as first-degree murder and minimum 25-year sentences for defendants under the age of 16.

Vietnam upholds Catholic lawyer’s conviction

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An appeals court in Hanoi today upheld the sentence given to a jailed Catholic lawyer, who is on hunger strike, while international human rights groups called on Vietnam to release him.

The People’s Supreme Court upheld the jail term of 30 months for lawyer and dissident Joseph Le Quoc Quan for charges of tax evasion. His firm was also fined 1.29 billion dong (approximately US $61,000), local sources said.

Attorney Ha Huy Son, who supported Quan in court, told the BBC’s Vietnamese section that he “is disappointed by the appeal court’s decision that has been approved.”

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April 11-24, 2014

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