Legal Docket

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1 - 10 of 361 resultsReset
Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Indiana Supreme Court •
Our brief emphasized the developmental differences between youth and adults, as confirmed by cognitive neuroscientific research, and argued that these differences must inform the sentencing of youth. Additionally, our brief argued that Nickalas’s 100-year aggregate sentence is the functional equivalent of a life without parole sentence and is unconstitutional.
Sex Offender Registration of Children (SORNA)
Michigan Supreme Court •
Our brief argued that sex offender registration is unconstitutional for youth under the United States and Michigan Constitutions. Our brief emphasized that sex offender registration has devastating consequences for youth and fails to advance the penological goal of rehabilitation. We further argued that youth registration does not protect, but rather undermines, public safety. 
Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court •
Our brief argued that article 26 of the Massachusetts Constitution goes beyond the federal Eighth Amendment in guaranteeing proportionate punishments, that LWOP sentences for late adolescents are unconstitutional, and that the Court should extend the ruling in Diatchenko v. Dist. Att’y, 466 Mass. 655 (2013), accordingly.
Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Arizona Supreme Court •
Our brief argued that Mr. Bassett's sentence is an illegal mandatory juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentence for which he is entitled to resentencing. Our brief emphasized that Arizona is one of few states that have failed to implement the mandates of Miller and Montgomery, and that JLWOP sentences fall disproportionately on Black and Brown Arizonians, further rendering them constitutionally suspect. We further argued that even if the court finds that Bassett’s sentence was not mandatory, Miller’s principles must apply to discretionary JLWOP sentences.
Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Illinois Supreme Court •
Our brief argued that sentencing youth to life in prison under an accountability theory both defies adolescent brain development research and contravenes the Eighth Amendment. We further argued that imposing such a sentence violates the mandates of Miller v. Alabama, and that the sentencing court failed to properly consider youth and its attendant characteristics. 
Keeping Kids in the Community
U.S. Supreme Court •
Amici argued that adopting the defendants’ interpretation would “cut an essential, firmly established lifeline for vulnerable Americans,” including the millions of children who depend on federally funded, state-administered services.
Keeping Kids in the Community
Texas Court of Appeals •
We joined a brief arguing that increased surveillance of families by child welfare systems does not lead to better outcomes for children and emphasized the many harms of family separation and child welfare system involvement to children. We further emphasized that the new directive will disproportionately harm transgender youth as well as communities that already face high rates of investigation and involvement, including families experiencing poverty, families of color, and parents with disabilities. 
Keeping Kids in the Community
U.S. Supreme Court •
The brief argued that ICWA safeguards the constitutional rights at stake in child welfare proceedings for Indian children, including protecting families from unwarranted state intervention and preserving the constitutional right to family integrity. The brief further argued that ICWA aligns with state courts’ efforts to serve the best interests of Indian children and provides critical information and support to state courts. 
Oregon Supreme Court •
Our brief argued that preserving the privilege of child welfare records is essential to the core functions of the dependency system, including DHS’s legal obligation to provide adequate mental health care to the children in its custody. We further argued that Oregon's privilege law provides vital protection for families facing DHS involvement, a function that is crucial given the fundamental liberty interests at stake in dependency proceedings, the high potential for harm to children and parents caused by system involvement, and the disproportionate impact of the system on communities of color. 
Youth Tried as Adults
Pennsylvania Supreme Court •
In an important win the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that “a minor’s refusal to confess to an act for which he or she might be criminally prosecuted as an adult may not be considered when deciding whether to certify a case for transfer between juvenile and adult court.”