Legal Docket

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Access to Counsel
Washington Supreme Court •

Amici argued on behalf of a 9-year-old foster child that independent, client-directed, legal counsel is necessary to help protect children’s physical liberty interests including: determinations regarding where and with whom the child will live and attend school, what, if any, contact the child will be allowed or required to have with family members, and the course of medical and mental health treatment.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Minnesota Supreme Court •

We argued that an aggregate 90-year sentence for offenses committed by a juvenile violates Miller because it is the functional equivalent of life without parole and was imposed without consideration of the Miller factors.

Juvenile Sex Offender Registry (SORNA)
Ohio Supreme Court •

We argued that the adult prosecution of a person who committed a crime as a juvenile but was apprehended after his 21st birthday is irreconcilable with Ohio’s commitment to protecting young children in the justice system.

Solitary Confinement & Harsh Conditions
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit •

We argued that a suspicionless body cavity search of a 12-year-old girl detained for a minor offense is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania •
Argued that sentences of life without parole for juveniles convicted of homicide are unconstitutional.
Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Pennsylvania Superior Court •

We argued that both Miller and Montgomery establish a presumption against imposing life without parole sentences on juveniles, who are categorically less culpable than adults. We further argued that imposing a life without parole sentence on a juvenile convicted of felony murder is unconstitutional because it attributes the same level of culpability and foreseeability to each participant in the crime regardless of their level of participation or neurological development.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
California Supreme Court •

We urged the court to grant Mr. Taylor’s habeas petition and clarify the process and standards for others similarly situated in light of the fact that Miller and Montgomery establish a presumption against life without parole.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Supreme Court of South Dakota •

Argued that the trial court abused its discretion by failing to give proper weight during transfer or sentencing to the age and related characteristics of a physically and sexually abused 15-year-old who participated in a murder with the adult who was abusing her.

Juvenile Sex Offender Registry (SORNA)
Appellate Court of Illinois, First District •

Argued that mandatory lifetime sex offender registration applied to children is punishment in violation of the U.S. and the Illinois constitutional bans on the infliction of cruel and unusual punishment and due process.