- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Juvenile offenders in Arkansas will continue to be sentenced to life without parole for certain crimes after the state House rejected a bill to end the practice.

House members voted 53-29 Thursday against the proposal to eliminate the sentence for future offenders who are under the age of 18 when they commit a crime. The bill would not have been retroactive but would have required the families of victims be notified of parole hearings.

Democratic Rep. Greg Leding of Fayetteville says his bill would have brought Arkansas in line with other states such as Texas and Alaska. He says some children deserve a second chance.

Opponents say the change would be disrespectful to crime victims and that inmates could commit other crimes if released.

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