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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 72B: Persons between the ages of fourteen and eighteen convicted of murder; penalties

Section 72B. If a person is found guilty of murder in the first degree committed on or after his fourteenth birthday and before his eighteenth birthday under the provisions of section one of chapter two hundred and sixty-five, the superior court shall commit the person to such punishment as is provided by law for the offense.

If a person is found guilty of murder in the second degree committed on or after his fourteenth birthday and before his eighteenth birthday under the provisions of section one of chapter two hundred and sixty-five, the superior court shall commit the person to such punishment as is provided by law. Said person shall be eligible for parole under section one hundred and thirty-three A of chapter one hundred and twenty-seven when such person has served fifteen years of said confinement. Thereafter said person shall be subject to the provisions of law governing the granting of parole permits by the parole board.

The superior court shall not suspend the commitment of a person found guilty of murder in the first or second degree, nor shall the provisions of section one hundred and twenty-nine C or one hundred and twenty-nine D of chapter one hundred and twenty-seven apply to such commitment. In all cases where a person is alleged to have violated section one of chapter two hundred and sixty-five, the person shall have the right to an indictment proceeding under section four of chapter two hundred and sixty-three.

A person who is found guilty of murder and is sentenced to a state prison but who has not yet reached his eighteenth birthday shall be held in a youthful offender unit separate from the general population of adult prisoners; provided, however, that such person shall be classified at a facility other than the reception and diagnostic center at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Concord, and shall not be held at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Cedar Junction, prior to his eighteenth birthday.

[Fifth paragraph applicable as provided by 2014, 189, Sec. 9.]

The department of correction shall not limit access to programming and treatment including, but not limited to, education, substance abuse, anger management and vocational training for youthful offenders, as defined in section 52, solely because of their crimes or the duration of their incarcerations. If the youthful offender qualifies for placement in a minimum security correctional facility based on objective measures determined by the department, the placement shall not be categorically barred based on a life sentence.

If a defendant is not found guilty of murder in the first or second degree, but is found guilty of a lesser included offense or a criminal offense properly joined under Massachusetts Rules of Criminal Procedure 9 (a) (1), then the superior court shall make its disposition in accordance with section fifty-eight.