Briefed the issues of constitutionality and racial disparity in the application of a statute allowing prosecutors discretion to file charges against minors directly in criminal court without a prior adjudication of a minor’s lack of fitness for juvenile disposition.
This appeal raised a question of first impression: Is a juvenile entitled to request a jury trial in juvenile court when 1) the protective features of the juvenile court have been largely eliminated by statutory amendments, and, 2) a delinquency adjudication would lead to automatic adult status upon a next arrest? The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the denial of the right to a jury trial.
Challenged the zero-tolerance approach in the delinquency adjudication of an eighth-grade student whose creative writing assignment invoked an unhappy student who cut off his teacher’s head when she told him to shut up.
Challenged a provision of the PA Juvenile Act that barred Philadelphia adjudicated youth from returning to their regular public schools after they were discharged from residential delinquency placements.
Argued an appeal in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reverse the criminal conviction of an adult (Hartford) under Pennsylvania’s Interference with Custody of Children Statute. Argued that a parent has no right of "custody" to control abortion decisions and that the prosecution violated the right to choose an abortion, as well as the right to travel to a state allowing abortion without parental consent.