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Maryland Board of Public Works OKs settlement on juvenile life sentences

A Maryland board approved a settlement Wednesday that will require the state to adopt new policies regarding the parole process for people sentenced as children to life imprisonment.

The settlement approved by the Board of Public Works will require the Maryland Parole Commission, the Division of Correction and governor to adopt new regulations for the parole process.

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The settlement requires officials to consider youth of those sentenced and provide more transparency in the decision-making process.

The lawsuit was brought by three Maryland residents who received life sentences while children, Nathaniel Foster, Calvin McNeill and Kenneth Tucker, as well as the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative, an organization that works for the rights of incarcerated people.

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Last year, Foster and McNeill were released, and Tucker hopes to achieve release soon.

“Overall, this is a great victory,” McNeill said. “It was a long process and at times it didn’t seem like we were going to get anything done. But we are making changes in Maryland’s parole system and we gained things that will help us hold the system accountable. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

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