State v. Helm
Juvenile Law Center signed onto an amicus brief with Phillips Black, Inc. in the Supreme Court of Arizona on behalf of Roger Helm. For crimes committed as juvenile, Mr. Helm was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences, requiring him to serve a total of 67 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Our brief challenged the constitutionality of Mr. Helm’s lengthy sentence, arguing that the United States Supreme Court in Graham v. Florida and Miller v. Alabama requires sentencing courts provide system involved youth with a second chance to participate and engage with family and community, and individualized sentencing that takes account of the youth’s distinctive and hallmark developmental attributes.