Legal Docket

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Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
U.S. Supreme Court •

Juvenile Law Center and Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth, joined by 49 advocacy organizations and individuals, filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Supreme Court of Illinois •
In 2002, Lusby was sentenced to an aggregate of 130 years in prison, with parole eligibility after serving 65 years for a crime committed at age 16. Amici argued that Lusby’s sentence is a de facto life sentence and is unconstitutional as applied to juvenile offenders.
Youth Tried as Adults
Pennsylvania Supreme Court •
In an important win the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that “a minor’s refusal to confess to an act for which he or she might be criminally prosecuted as an adult may not be considered when deciding whether to certify a case for transfer between juvenile and adult court.”
Access to Healthcare
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit •
Amici urged the Court to affirm the trial courts’ preliminary injunctions against regulations which would undermine the Affordable Care Act. Amici argued that the predictable result of the regulations would be that health care providers would be unable to accept Title X funds, causing care sites to close. These cutbacks would fall disproportionately on individuals who face significant health disparities. There would be serious consequences for adolescents, and the health of other underserved groups—including people of color, people in rural areas, and those living with disabilities—would be negatively affected.
Youth Interrogations
Supreme Court of California •
We urged the court to grant review, arguing that Steve’s youth, learning disabilities, and intoxication at the time of the interrogation made it impossible for him to have the capacity to waive his rights.
Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania •
Amici argued that educational institutions’ failure to address and remedy harassment leads to adverse outcomes for survivors and in particular for girls, students who do not conform to sex stereotypes, and students who embody multiple marginalized identities. Amici urged the Court to affirm the trial court’s conclusion that the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) recognizes claims of discrimination against educational institutions that fail to address and remedy student-on-student harassment.
Youth Interrogations
Wisconsin Courts of Appeal •
Amici argued that courts must consider adolescent development when evaluating the validity of a Miranda waiver and the voluntariness of a confession and that youth cannot validly waive Miranda rights absent a meaningful opportunity to consult with counsel.
Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania •

Juvenile Law Center, in collaboration with Defender Association of Philadelphia, Cozen O’Connor, Peter Goldberger, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP, filed a brief in the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania on behalf of Mr. Ligon and other named defendants in support of the questions of law raised in General Court Regulation #1 of 2016 to be resolved by an en banc panel prior to re-sentencing the juvenile life without parole population. Since Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia in particular has the largest juvenile lifer population in the country, the court’s decision is likely to have a significant impact on many juvenile lifer re-sentencings.

Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP)
Washington Supreme Court •
Our brief argued that courts must consider emerging research on youth brain development during sentencing, and Washington’s “Three Strikes” law should incorporate the Eighth Amendment’s requirement for individualized sentencing because the characteristics of youth relied upon in Roper and its progeny are still developing in older adolescents and young adults.
United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania •
Juvenile Law Center, Education Law Center, and attorneys from Dechert, LLC, filed a class action lawsuit against Glen Mills Schools and Pennsylvania state officials on behalf of hundreds of youth who suffered at the hands of Glen Mills leadership and staff.