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.
Argued that because Romero was an adolescent with no attorney, no other adult tasked with advocating for him, and had not even been informed by his own attorney that he had a right to appeal, he lacked adequate access to the courts. Therefore, jurisdictional limitations should be tolled during the period of his minority.
Argued that by imposing registration as a violent offender on juveniles without consideration of the distinguishing characteristics of youth or a youth’s individualized circumstances, Illinois’ Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Act (VOYRA) violates both Illinois and federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process.
Argued that prosecuting a minor under a strict liability statute and shifting the burden to the minor to prove consent without the opportunity to confront his accuser at the subsequent ‘consent’ hearing under the Michigan Sex Offenders Registration Act violates the minor’s due process rights.
Argued that the court should recognize a youth’s constitutional right to a jury trial when he faces public sex offender registration upon conviction of sex offenses under Kansas’ juvenile court statute.
Argued that the highly intrusive search of a fifteen-year old public alternative school student, which occurred on school grounds, was unconstitutional, violating her right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures.
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.