Argued that Petitioner's sentence is the equivalent of life without parole because Missouri law requires him to serve a minimum of 92 years before becoming parole-eligible. This sentence therefore violates the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Graham v. Florida, which held that juvenile offenders cannot be sentenced to life for non-homicide offenses without a meaningful and realistic opportunity for re-entry into society prior to the expiration of their sentence.
Argued that the use of delinquency adjudications to enhance an adult criminal sentence violates US Supreme Court precedent as well as California's commitment to maintaining a separate juvenile justice system.
Juvenile Law Center and two private attorneys filed this brief on behalf of an eleven-year-old charged with the murder of his stepmother. The brief argued that the trial court’s interpretation of the transfer statute requiring the juvenile’s confession at the pre-adjudicatory decertification hearing in order to demonstrate his ability to be rehabilitated in the juvenile system was in violation of his right against self-incrimination and rights to due process and fundamental fairness under both the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions.
This brief to the Connecticut Supreme Court dealt with a Connecticut statute governing transfer of juveniles to adult court. Amici argued that the statute, which gave the prosecutor sole discretion to transfer a juvenile's case to the adult criminal system, deprived juveniles of their right to due process.
Juvenile Law Center was co-counsel in Montgomery v. Louisiana, a case recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court holding that Miller v. Alabama (2012) applies retroactively to individuals serving mandatory juvenile life without parole sentences.
These briefs involved a thirteen-year-old student who was questioned by four adults, including a uniformed police officer, on school grounds regarding a series of break-ins. Juvenile Law Center argued that the student should have been considered in custody for Miranda purposes.
Supreme Court held the execution of juveniles unconstitutional. Juvenile Law Center’s brief argued the developmental differences between adolescents and adults in critical areas, including impulse control and understanding consequences.
One of the most important lessons from our 40 years of experience is that children involved with the justice and foster care systems need zealous legal advocates. Your support for our work is more important now than ever before.