By URIEL J. GARCIA
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A Texas House panel has endorsed a bill to create a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole after 40 years for 17-year-olds convicted of capital murder.
The Criminal Jurisprudence Committee sent the bill Wednesday to the full House, which is expected to vote before the end of the 30-day special session next week.
The bill has already passed the Senate, but House lawmakers say they may still consider more punishment options.
Currently, a 17-year-old convicted of capital murder in Texas is sentenced to life in prison without parole. But the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that such a sentence is unconstitutional for minors.
Texas has more than 25 inmates sentenced to life in prison for crimes committed as juveniles.
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