Legal Docket

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Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
North Carolina Court of Appeals •
Our brief argued that Mr. McDougald’s sentence flouts constitutional limitations on juvenile sentencing, including U.S. Supreme Court precedent prohibiting the imposition of mandatory LWOP based on juvenile conduct. We further argued that Mr. McDougald’s sentence contravenes North Carolina’s current legislative understanding of youth and extends the state’s racially disparate treatment of Black youth.
Education
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit •
Our brief argued that all Havasupai children ever named as plaintiffs are entitled to compensatory education, a forward-looking remedy designed to provide services and resources to students previously deprived of adequate education.
Youth Tried as Adults
Missouri Supreme Court •
Our brief argued that youth of color, particularly Black youth, are disproportionately prosecuted in the adult system, and that youth experience severe harm when charged as adults. We further argued that the financial concerns surrounding Section 211.031.1(3) are overstated and should not be a barrier to implementation.
Youth Tried as Adults
Ohio Supreme Court •
Our brief urged the Court to provide clear guidance that Ohio law presumes children remain in juvenile court, and that such a presumption requires the prosecutor seeking transfer to present evidence affirmatively demonstrating a youth’s lack of amenability to treatment.
Youth Tried as Adults
Maryland Court of Appeals •
Amici urged the court to clarify that a robust and individualized amenability to treatment analysis is required under Maryland law. We argued that such an analysis is essential given the grave consequences of prosecution in the adult system, which disproportionately impact youth of color, particularly Black boys.
Access to Counsel
Pennsylvania Supreme Court •
Our brief argued that Marsy’s Law could undermine the due process rights of youth and threaten timely case processing, which is especially important for youth. We further argued that the proposed right to full and timely restitution could eliminate courts’ ability to impose individualized restitution amounts that reflect both a youth’s ability to pay and the court’s rehabilitative goals, compounding existing serious, long-term harms of restitution to youth and their families.
Education
U.S. Supreme Court •
Our brief argued that expanding the authority of schools to regulate off-campus student speech would exacerbate existing disparities for students of color, students with disabilities, and students who identify as LGBTQ+, who are already disproportionately and excessively targeted by school discipline, particularly for so-called “infractions” that permit discretion and invite subjective interpretation. We further argued that expanding school authority risks punishing students for developmentally appropriate expression and chilling core protected speech. 
Youth Tried as Adults
California Supreme Court •
Our brief urged the court to grant review in order to clarify that a defendant’s age must be considered in assessing a claim of self-defense. We argued that the developmental characteristics of youth directly impact their perceptions of threatening situations, and that youth should not be held to an adult reasonableness standard.
Juvenile Sex Offender Registry (SORNA)
Wisconsin Supreme Court •
We argued that that sex offender registration is punitive when applied to youth and causes irreparable harm to young people. We further emphasized that registration more severely harms transgender youth.
Youth Tried as Adults
Texas Court of Appeals •
Our brief argued that the court’s evaluation of a young person’s sophistication and maturity must consider current scientific research on adolescent development and the documented effects of peer pressure on youth.