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NEW ORLEANS -- Nearly 300 prison inmates around the state have a stake in this year's legislative session.

When lawmakers convene at the state capitol, they'll consider rewriting sentencing statutes for juveniles who are 17 or younger when they commit murder.

The current law mandates life in prison without parole, but last year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it violates the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. State law must now contain some possibility of parole.

In each case a hearing would now have to be held and a judge would then decide the provisions of the sentence.

It is possible that the legislation would affect the nearly 300 prison inmates already in jail after receiving murder convictions when they were juveniles.

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