Our declaration detailed the financial and emotional harms to children and families of collecting costs of support and detention fees. We further emphasized that collecting these fees amplifies existing racial and income inequity in the juvenile legal system and disproportionately harms youth of color and very low-income youth.
The brief argued that DFPS investigations, even those that do not lead to family separation or court involvement, cause harm to Texas families. The brief argued that increased surveillance of families by child welfare systems does not lead to better outcomes for children and emphasized the many harms of family separation and child welfare system involvement to children. The brief further emphasized that the new directive will disproportionately harm transgender youth as well as communities that already face high rates of investigation and involvement, including families experiencing poverty, families of color, and parents with disabilities.
Our brief emphasized the developmental differences between youth and adults, as confirmed by cognitive neuroscientific research, and argued that these differences must inform the sentencing of youth. Additionally, our brief argued that Nickalas’s 100-year aggregate sentence is the functional equivalent of a life without parole sentence and is unconstitutional.
United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama •
Our lawsuit alleges that the policies, procedures, and practices of the Alabama Parole Board do not afford those serving life with parole sentences for youthful offenses a meaningful opportunity to obtain release based upon demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation as required by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Our brief argued that sex offender registration is unconstitutional for youth under the United States and Michigan Constitutions. Our brief emphasized that sex offender registration has devastating consequences for youth and fails to advance the penological goal of rehabilitation. We further argued that youth registration does not protect, but rather undermines, public safety.
Our brief argued that article 26 of the Massachusetts Constitution goes beyond the federal Eighth Amendment in guaranteeing proportionate punishments, that LWOP sentences for late adolescents are unconstitutional, and that the Court should extend the ruling in Diatchenko v. Dist. Att’y, 466 Mass. 655 (2013), accordingly.
Our brief argued that Mr. Bassett's sentence is an illegal mandatory juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentence for which he is entitled to resentencing. Our brief emphasized that Arizona is one of few states that have failed to implement the mandates of Miller and Montgomery, and that JLWOP sentences fall disproportionately on Black and Brown Arizonians, further rendering them constitutionally suspect. We further argued that even if the court finds that Bassett’s sentence was not mandatory, Miller’s principles must apply to discretionary JLWOP sentences.
Our brief argued that sentencing youth to life in prison under an accountability theory both defies adolescent brain development research and contravenes the Eighth Amendment. We further argued that imposing such a sentence violates the mandates of Miller v. Alabama, and that the sentencing court failed to properly consider youth and its attendant characteristics.
Amici argued that adopting the defendants’ interpretation would “cut an essential, firmly established lifeline for vulnerable Americans,” including the millions of children who depend on federally funded, state-administered services.
We joined a brief arguing that increased surveillance of families by child welfare systems does not lead to better outcomes for children and emphasized the many harms of family separation and child welfare system involvement to children. We further emphasized that the new directive will disproportionately harm transgender youth as well as communities that already face high rates of investigation and involvement, including families experiencing poverty, families of color, and parents with disabilities.
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