Juvenile Law Center, in collaboration with Defender Association of Philadelphia, Cozen O’Connor, Peter Goldberger, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP, filed a brief in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania on behalf of Mr. Ligon and other named defendants in support of the questions of law raised in General Court Regulation #1 of 2016 to be resolved by an en banc panel prior to re-sentencing the juvenile life without parole population. Since Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia in particular has the largest juvenile lifer population in the country, the court’s decision is likely to have a significant impact on many juvenile lifer re-sentencings.
Among other things, our brief argues that Miller and Montgomery established a presumption against juvenile life without parole and the imposition of a maximum sentence of life imprisonment is unconstitutional as applied to juveniles. We further argued that a juvenile facing the possibility of a life without parole sentence is entitled to similar protections and procedural safeguards as an adult facing capital punishment, including the right to a jury determination, expert testimony, and a reasonable doubt standard, as well as, constitutional limits on victim impact testimony and court funded mitigation.
|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.||Support|