Category Archives: Criminal /Juvenile Defense

Juvenile Defense: Small Steps can have Ripple Effects, One Case at a Time

Recently I was in juvenile delinquency court in North Carolina with one of my clients, whom I’ll call Alexis. The 13-year-old African-American girl had just heard from the judge that she would continue to be detained in a juvenile jail … Continue reading

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Posted in Conditions of Confinement, Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Delinquency, Juvenile Court, Juveniles, North Carolina | 1 Comment

The Value of Law Students to Juvenile Court Practice

As I approach the end of my 11th year of teaching in a clinical program at the University of North Carolina School of Law, I have been thinking a lot about the value that students add to the dynamics of … Continue reading

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Posted in Advocacy, Clinical Legal Education, Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Juvenile Court, Law Schools, Law Students | 1 Comment

The Poor are Still Losing: Gideon’s Empty Promise

This past weekend I spent some time thinking about the future of indigent public defense and what role, if any, defense lawyers can play in a system beset by racism and classism.  First, I read a provocative essay by Paul … Continue reading

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Posted in Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Media, Poverty, Race, Class, Ethnicity, Right to Counsel | 8 Comments

Indiana Juvenile Justice Blog

Earlier this week I received an email from Kaarin Lueck, public defender in Richmond, Indiana, and nationally-known expert in juvenile delinquency and criminal defense.  She very kindly shared the following: Prof. Birckhead: I felt compelled to reach out to thank … Continue reading

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Posted in Blogosphere, Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Delinquency, Juvenile Court, Juveniles | Comments Off

Closing the Widening Net: The Rights of Juveniles at Intake

Should juveniles have more, fewer, the same or different procedural rights than are accorded to adults?  This question, posed by Professor Arnold Loewy for a panel at the 2013 Texas Tech Law Review Symposium on Juveniles and Criminal Law, requires … Continue reading

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Posted in Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Delinquency, Juvenile Court, Juveniles, Poverty, Race, Class, Ethnicity, Right to Counsel, School to Prison Pipeline, U.S. Supreme Court | Comments Off

Defending a Terror Suspect

Since the capture and arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (pictured on the left at his high school graduation in Cambridge, Massachusetts), the college sophomore charged with the Boston Marathon bombing, I have thought about another young man who was charged with … Continue reading

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Posted in Adult Court, Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Legal Profession, Media, Prosecutor's Role, Right to Counsel, Sentencing, Terrorism cases | Comments Off

To Defend a Terrorist: Reflections on Reid, Tsarnaev & How I Got from There to Here

Since my last post, I’ve been occupied with putting myself out there (via print, radio & cable news) to share the message that even those charged with the most heinous offenses are still human beings, that we are each more … Continue reading

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Posted in Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Death Penalty, Sentencing, Terrorism cases, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

New Article on the Role of Counsel in the Sentencing Phase of a Juvenile Delinquency Case

It’s always struck me as ironic that the criminal defense of adults is considered to be more “advanced” and “complicated” than the defense of young people in juvenile court.  Having practiced in both realms, I have personally found representing children … Continue reading

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Posted in Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Delinquency, Juvenile Court, Juveniles, Legal Scholarship, Sentencing | 2 Comments

Infographic on the Criminalization of Poor D.C. Youth

From our friends at D.C. Lawyers for Youth (DCLY): DC Lawyers for Youth (DCLY) has launched a capital-wide campaign to reach out to kids, families, policymakers, practitioners and systems administrators to communicate the error in spending and judgement when it … Continue reading

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Posted in Criminal /Juvenile Defense, Juvenile Court, Juveniles, Organizations, Poverty, Race, Class, Ethnicity, School to Prison Pipeline | Comments Off

When the Law Doesn’t Fit the Crime: Lessons from the Blogosphere

I’m now blogging for the Huffington Post.  Here’s my first piece, which also appears on the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange: Practicing criminal law is not rocket science. It’s also not open heart surgery. But it’s more than just slapping a … Continue reading

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Posted in Blogosphere, Case Law, Criminal /Juvenile Defense, State Laws | 1 Comment