Cyntoia Brown Has Been Granted Clemency. But What's Next for Others Like Her?

Natelegé Whaley, NBCBLK •

Juvenile Law Center, one of several advocacy groups that filed a “friend of the court” brief in January 2018 to free Brown, opposes the practice of trying juveniles as adults, as Brown was. The law firm cites Supreme Court rulings such as Roper v. Simmons, which banned the juvenile death penalty, and Miller v. Alabama, which banned the juvenile sentencing of life without parole, as too harsh because young people's brains have not developed the ability to access consequences and impulse control.

“Holding them in prison from their 30s and beyond becomes nothing more than punishment and for a retributive purpose,” said Marsha Levick, the center's chief legal officer. “It’s no longer about keeping a community safe because we're already past the point where they would likely pose danger to their community.”

About the Expert

Marsha Levick co-founded Juvenile Law Center in 1975. Throughout her legal career, Levick has been an advocate for children’s and women's rights and is a nationally recognized expert in juvenile law.