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Edit: Juvie Killers & Life Sans Parole

Life sentences are usually reserved for -- and should be reserved for -- the worst of the worst, the serial rapists and murderers of the world. When a life sentence is handed down, few would argue the severity and finality of the penalty isn't appropriate given the heinous nature of the crimes committed. But what about when that offender, that murderer, is a 14-year-old boy? Is a life sentence just? A jury in Kootenai County will likely be facing that question soon in the case of Eldon Gale Samuel III, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and will be tried as an adult for the March 24 deaths of his father and 13-year-old brother. He could receive life in prison without parole, the same sentence given to four other Idaho youths previously convicted as adults for murder. Those youths ranged in ages 16-17 at the time of their crimes/Devin Rokyta, Moscow-Pullman Daily News Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you believe in the punishment of life without possibility of parole for juveniles who commit heinous crimes?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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