Legal Docket

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Youth Tried as Adults
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals •

Juvenile Law Center filed an amicus brief on behalf of a 15-year-old who was transferred to adult court without citing any specific findings of fact or evidence underpinning the transfer decision, and subsequently sentenced to 99 years in an adult prison.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
North Carolina Supreme Court •

We argued that Miller creates a presumption against sentencing juvenile offenders to life without parole.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Michigan Supreme Court •

Juvenile Law Center filed an amicus brief in the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of Kenya Hyatt, who was sentenced to life without parole under

Juvenile Sex Offender Registry (SORNA)
Washington Supreme Court •

According to the lower court, the child victim is also the perpetrator of a sex crime against himself. 

Solitary Confinement & Harsh Conditions
United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin •

Juvenile Law Center, with co-counsel ACLU of Wisconsin and Quarles & Brady, LLP, filed a federal civil rights class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin against Wisconsin juvenile corrections officials and administrators of two correctional facilitates, the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and the Copper Lake School for Girls.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania •

Juvenile Law Center, in collaboration with Defender Association of Philadelphia, Cozen O’Connor, Peter Goldberger, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP, filed a brief in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania on behalf of Mr. Ligon and other named defendants in support of the questions of law raised in General Court Regulation #1 of 2016 to be resolved by an en banc panel prior to re-sentencing the juvenile life without parole population. Since Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia in particular has the largest juvenile lifer population in the country, the court’s decision is likely to have a significant impact on many juvenile lifer re-sentencings.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
New Mexico Supreme Court •

We argued that a 91½-year sentence, requiring at least 45 years served prior to becoming parole eligible, for nonhomicide offenses committed by a juvenile is unconstitutional under Graham because it fails to provide a “meaningful opportunity” for release.

Juvenile Sex Offender Registry (SORNA)
Ohio Supreme Court •

Juvenile Law Center filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of Ohio on behalf of 12-year-old D.S. Juvenile Law Center argued that Ohio's gross sexual imposition statute – designed in part to protect children who are under age 13 from adult sexual predators – is unconstitutional when applied to children, particularly children who allegedly engage in sexual contact with a peer of similar age.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Pennsylvania Superior Court •

Along with Atlantic Center for Capital Representation and Wendy L. Williams & Associates, Juvenile Law Center filed an Application for Exercise of Extraordinary Jurisdiction or King's Bench Power on behalf of over 100 juveniles sentenced to JLWOP and then resentenced to 20-to-life terms.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
U.S. Supreme Court •

Juvenile Law Center and Center for Law, Brain and Behavior filed an amicus brief supporting Ahmad Bright’s petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. We argued that the opportunity for parole is not an adequate substitute for an individualized sentencing hearing as required by Miller and Montgomery. Furthermore, youth who are accomplices are essentially nonhomicide offenders and, under Graham v. Florida (2010), cannot be sentenced to life without parole sentences.