Carter v. State

Juvenile Law Center, along with Juvenile Sentencing Project, Legal Clinic, Quinnipiac University School of Law and The Sentencing Project, filed a consolidated amicus brief in the Maryland Court of Appeals in support of Daniel Carter, James Bowie, Matthew McCullough, and Phillip Clements. Mr. Carter, Mr. Bowie, Mr. McCullough, and Mr. Clements are currently serving life or the functional equivalent of life sentences for crimes they committed as children. While they may indeed one day become eligible for parole, no individual in Maryland sentenced to life with parole as a juvenile has been approved for release in over twenty years.

Our brief argued that Maryland's parole system is an unconstitutional ad hoc executive clemency system which fails to provide a "meaningful opportunity to obtain release" to youth sentenced to life or life equivalent terms. We further argued that scientific research on recidivism supports providing juvenile offenders with a truly meaningful opportunity to obtain early release.