Twenty-one-year-old Maurquis Thompson of Chester was convicted in April of third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and other counts.
Authorities said he was on probation and driving without a license in December 2011 when he ran a red light in Glenolden and struck Michael Taylor and Mark McNeill as they crossed Chester Pike.
Thompson apologized to relatives of the victims, but some turned their back on him in the courtroom. He told the judge "I messed up, and I didn't mean to hurt those kids."
Defense attorney Earl Raynor sought a reduced sentence, arguing that a life term would be "grossly disproportionate."