State v. Anderson

Tonelli Anderson was sentenced to a de facto life sentence of 61 years for offenses committed as a youth. 

Juvenile Law Center, joined by Community Passageways, Choose 180, Rooted Reentry, and 7 other advocacy organizations, filed an amicus brief in the Washington Supreme Court in support of Mr. Anderson. Our brief argued that racial bias infects Washington’s criminal legal system and compounds the risk that an unjust life sentence will be imposed, and that Mr. Anderson’s sentence does not serve the penological goals of retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, or rehabilitation. We further emphasized that sentencing youth to life in prison ignores their capacities to make meaningful contributions to their communities in the future.



Marsha Levick, Riya Saha Shah


Tiffany Faith, Marissa Lariviere