Our brief argued that children in foster care desperately need their financial benefits, and that the law does not pose any obstacles to them receiving benefits. The brief further argued that OCS’s policy violates equal protection under the Alaska Constitution, and that plaintiffs are entitled to restitution.
The brief emphasized the significant harms that increased deductions cause to incarcerated people and their families, including that many incarcerated individuals lose the ability to pay for basic living needs. The brief also highlighted unique challenges the deductions would pose for young people, given their lack of access to economic resources.
Our letter argued that Ms. Morrison’s attorney failed to present mitigating evidence of her youthfulness and the abusive nature of her relationship during the sentencing phase of her case, despite U.S. Supreme Court precedent and American Bar Association standards that asserted the mitigating value of such evidence.
Our brief argued that youth adjudicated for sexual offenses have exceptionally low recidivism rates, which makes it nearly impossible for the state to meet its burden of proof. We further argued that the state’s use of adult psychosexual risk assessments was inappropriate and did not provide sufficient evidence that A.R. is likely to commit a future sexual offense, that the discretionary registration standard is vulnerable to racial bias, and that registering youth as sex offenders has devastating consequences and contravenes the U.S. Supreme Court’s recognition that youth are less culpable and are amenable to rehabilitation.
Our brief argued that the public interest is served by transferring Damien to juvenile court and that abundant research supports that young people are capable of positive change and rehabilitation. Our brief further argued that subjecting a child to the criminal system can have devastating consequences and that prosecuting a child in criminal court does not reduce recidivism or deter future crime.
Our brief argued that students in Pennsylvania’s low-wealth districts require targeted programs and services to receive an adequate constitutional education. The brief further argued that inequities in education disproportionately impact children of color across Pennsylvania, that other state courts have ruled that “at-risk” students require targeted programs and services, and that increasing school funding improves academic and life outcomes for these students.
Our brief argued that recent science on emerging adult brain development has led to corresponding progress in the law, including the extension of Miller-type protections and second look review to older adolescents. The brief further argued that the Court should clarify what is required to put forth a successive postconviction claim.
The brief argued that Mr. Arias’s sentence is unconstitutional under Miller, as at the time of his sentencing Arizona law did not allow the court to impose a parole-eligible sentence. The brief further argued that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Jones does not affect the unconstitutionality of Mr. Arias’s sentence under Miller or reflect a change in controlling law.
We argued that certification hearings require heightened due process procedures to protect youth from the harms of the adult system and that virtual hearings violate the constitutional protections that must accompany these proceedings. We further argued that failure to provide robust constitutional protections results in racially disproportionate certification, which is exacerbated by virtual hearings.
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