People v. Stewart
Denzel Stewart was designated a Class X offender and sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of six years, predicated in part on an offense that occurred when he was 17.
Juvenile Law Center and Children and Family Justice Center filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of Illinois in support of Mr. Stewart, arguing that predicating Class X eligibility on youthful offenses ignores the constitutionally recognized developmental differences between children and adults. We further argued that the Class X Felony Statute has a disproportionate effect on Black and Brown youth, as they are transferred to adult court at disparate rates.
In an important win for youth, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that Mr. Stewart is not eligible for Class X sentencing, as the Illinois legislature clearly did not intend for convictions of youth in adult court to be considered qualifying offenses.
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