Dueling juvenile sentencing bills still under consideration in Connecticut legislature

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HARTFORD — State lawmakers are working on a legislative compromise to bring Connecticut in line with two U.S. Supreme Court rulings addressing lengthy prison sentences for juvenile offenders.

The General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee on Friday was considering two versions of legislation intended to provide youths with lengthy sentences a parole hearing, where they can demonstrate having matured since their crime.

Some lawmakers expressed surprise that a final compromise has not yet been reached this session. Sen. John Kissel, the committee’s leading Republican senator, said he worries that “mistakes can happen” when there are multiple bills dealing with the same issue.

Stamford Rep. William Tong, the committee’s Democratic co-chairman, said it was always the committee’s intention to vote out two separate bills, which he predicted will ultimately be combined into one bill.