Legal Docket

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Economic Justice
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.
Keeping Kids in the Community
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.
Sex Offender Registration of Children (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.
Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court •
Amici argued that the failure to grant Miller hearings to youth convicted of second degree murder violates both due process and equal protection, due to the resulting disproportionate sentencing between the first degree cohort and the second degree cohort.  
Economic Justice
Washington Supreme Court •
Our brief urged the Court to adopt an Excessive Fines Clause proportionality test that accounts for individual circumstances, including youth. We argued that a one-size-fits-all test for excessive fines will have devastating impacts on youth due to their diminished culpability and lowered ability to pay, and will disproportionately harm Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth.
Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
United States District Court, Middle District of Florida •
Juvenile Law Center, with co-counsel Holland & Knight LLP, filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on behalf of over 100 individuals incarcerated in Florida who were sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for crimes committed when they were under the age of 18, but who are destined to die in prison because of the unconstitutional rules, policies, and practices of the Florida parole system.