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 in support of Washington State’s standard for sealing juvenile records because it is aligned with U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence in treating child offenders differently than adults and making it easier for children to seal their records upon completion of their sentences.
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 the juvenile court erred by waiving its jurisdiction of a youth and transferring the youth to adult court based on the charged offense alone, without an individualized determination of the youth's maturity, culpability, and capacity for change.
Argued that Section (a)(4) of the Criminal History Records Information Act (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 9123(a)(4)) is unconstitutional on its face and as applied to the extent that it permits expungements to be denied solely on the basis of the Commonwealth’s refusal to consent, even in the absence of any evidence proffered by the Commonwealth and when all other statutory criteria are met.
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.