People v. House
Antonio House was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole under Illinois’ broad accountability statute for his participation as a lookout when he was 19.
Juvenile Law Center, Children and Family Justice Center, and Center for Law, Brain and Behavior filed an amicus brief in the Illinois Supreme Court in support of Antonio, arguing that the mandatory imposition of life without parole on emerging adults violates the Eighth Amendment and the Illinois Constitution. We argued that emerging adults possess the same developmental characteristics of youth that were relied upon in Roper and its progeny, and are thus less deserving of the harshest punishments. We further argued that mandatory life without parole imposed on emerging adults under an accountability theory of liability results in disproportionate sentences in violation of the proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution. Lastly, our brief emphasized the growing statewide, national, and international consensus that the line between childhood and adulthood should be set above 18.