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.
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.
Supported the position that the state must apply children’s federal insurance benefits under Title II and Title XVI in accordance with the children’s best interests and not to reduce the state’s foster care system’s financial burden.
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.