Massachusetts’ highest court ruled this week it is unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life without parole — a decision that could affect more than 60 inmates.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down automatic life sentences without parole for juveniles convicted of murder. But this week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court went even further.

“The U.S. Supreme Court decided last year that mandatory life without parole for juveniles was unconstitutional. Now Massachusetts declared all life without parole sentences for juveniles to be unconstitutional," said James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University. "Not just mandatory.”

Fox says the decision marks a reversal for Massachusetts, which until now has had the toughest penalties in the country for kids convicted of murder.

“In Massachusetts up to this point, everyone 14 and over was automatically tried as an adult charged with murder, and if convicted, was automatically given life without parole eligibility,” Fox said.

There are 63 inmates in Massachusetts who committed murder before the age of 18 who are now serving life without parole. The court decision is retroactive. So now, those that have served at least 15 years will get a parole board hearing.