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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our amicus brief argued that the sentence for contempt of court ignored A Juvenile's status as a child, and that both the sentence and underlying bail order showed racial, gender, and dependency status bias.
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