State v. Fuell
Austin Fuell was transferred from juvenile to adult court and ultimately sentenced to a mandatory term of 15-years-to-life for an offense that occurred when he was 17 years old.
Juvenile Law Center, Children’s Law Center, Inc., and the Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, and Montgomery County Public Defender’s Offices filed an amicus brief in the Ohio Supreme Court in support of Mr. Fuell, arguing that probable cause hearings that result in transfer to adult court require due process protections to protect youth from the harms of the adult system and prevent racially disproportionate transfer. Our brief also argued that any sentence with a life tail should be treated consistently with the process set forth in State v. Patrick, which mandates consideration of youth and its attendant characteristics before imposing a life sentence. We further argued that life sentences are imposed disproportionately on youth of color and must therefore be subject to additional safeguards.
The Ohio Supreme Court dismissed the appeal as having been improvidently accepted.
Marsha Levick, Nadia Mozaffar
Tiffany Faith, Marissa Lariviere