Argued that Nebraska’s mandatory statutory sentencing scheme is now unconstitutional pursuant to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Miller v. Alabama, which banned mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles.
Argued that Pennsylvania’s mandatory sentencing scheme, which requires any juvenile convicted of first or second degree murder to be sentenced to life without parole, is unconstitutional pursuant to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Miller v. Alabama.
Argued that Section (a)(4) of the Criminal History Records Information Act (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 9123(a)(4)) is unconstitutional on its face and as applied to the extent that it permits expungements to be denied solely on the basis of the Commonwealth’s refusal to consent, even in the absence of any evidence proffered by the Commonwealth and when all other statutory criteria are met.
Argued that Petitioner's sentence is the equivalent of life without parole because Missouri law requires him to serve a minimum of 92 years before becoming parole-eligible. This sentence therefore violates the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Graham v. Florida, which held that juvenile offenders cannot be sentenced to life for non-homicide offenses without a meaningful and realistic opportunity for re-entry into society prior to the expiration of their sentence.
Argued that due process is violated when a judge uses his independent knowledge about a youth’s child welfare history and involvement, including past misconduct, as evidence to adjudicate the youth delinquent in the juvenile justice system.
Juvenile Law Center was co-counsel in Montgomery v. Louisiana, a case recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court holding that Miller v. Alabama (2012) applies retroactively to individuals serving mandatory juvenile life without parole sentences.
These briefs involved a thirteen-year-old student who was questioned by four adults, including a uniformed police officer, on school grounds regarding a series of break-ins. Juvenile Law Center argued that the student should have been considered in custody for Miranda purposes.
Supreme Court held the execution of juveniles unconstitutional. Juvenile Law Center’s brief argued the developmental differences between adolescents and adults in critical areas, including impulse control and understanding consequences.
One of the most important lessons from our 40 years of experience is that children involved with the justice and foster care systems need zealous legal advocates. Your support for our work is more important now than ever before.