SALEM, Ore. – The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday heard arguments about whether killers in their early teens can receive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Meanwhile, in Oregon, five teenage murderers are getting a chance at an earlier release date. The first of those young killers went before the Oregon Parole Board Tuesday. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman was there.
The juvenile lifers—known as the "Oregon Five"—were originally forced to wait even longer for a parole hearing than adults convicted of the same crimes. That was due to a quirk in Oregon law. But an Oregon Supreme Court ruling last year gave the murderers a new chance at getting an earlier parole. And that has the families of murder victims making their case to keep their loved ones' killers behind bars for as long as possible. Beth Greear testified about the 1990 murder of her 16-year-old sister, Erin Reynolds by then-15-year-old Conrad Engweiler.
Greear: "We re-live Erin's murder over and over and over, all day long, all the time.
The Oregon Board did give Engweiler an earlier possible parole date than when he was originally sentenced. Still, the earliest he could be released will be 2018.
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