Category Archives: Sentencing

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

Steubenville: The Names Change, but the Story Stays the Same

“My life is over. No one is going to want me now.” These were the words of 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond after a judge adjudicated him delinquent of rape earlier this week in juvenile court in Steubenville, Ohio. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But … Continue reading

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Posted in Delinquency, Education, Gender, Juvenile Court, Juveniles, Media, Sentencing | 1 Comment

From Prison to Juvenile Justice Lawyer

I am a sucker for a feel-good story, and this is the best one I’ve come across in a long time.  It’s from the San Francisco Chronicle, written by Meredith May, and here’s how it opens: A group of incarcerated teenage … Continue reading

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Posted in Juveniles, Law Schools, Law Students, Legal Profession, Rehabilitation, Sentencing, Training | 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

“Children are Different:” Constitutional Values and Justice Policy

The title of this post is the title of a notable new law review essay by Professor Elizabeth Scott of Columbia Law School, which is forthcoming in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.  The article is posted and available via … Continue reading

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Posted in Adult Court, Analysis, Legal Scholarship, Miller v. Alabama, Sentencing, U.S. Supreme Court | 3 Comments

Sara Kruzan — Originally Sentenced to JLWOP — is Eligible for Parole

With the 2012 Supreme Court decision in Miller v. Alabama, striking down mandatory JLWOP for homicide, there has been increased optimism that the U.S. has turned a corner in the inhumane sentencing of youth. Although the decision did not affect … Continue reading

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Posted in Adult Court, Miller v. Alabama, Sentencing, U.S. Supreme Court, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Overhaul the Juvenile Justice System: Accountability without Criminalization

A new federally commissioned report led by University of Virginia law professor Richard Bonnie lays out a blueprint to reform the nation’s juvenile justice system to better hold youth offenders accountable, prevent recidivism and ensure adolescent offenders are treated fairly. The report, … Continue reading

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Posted in Delinquency, Juvenile Court, Juveniles, Organizations, Psychology, Reports, Sentencing, Social science, Training | 1 Comment

The High Cost of a Youth Arrest

Recently D.C. Lawyers for Youth calculated that it cost $1000 to arrest and detain a youth in Washington, D.C., even though most young people are arrested for nonviolent offenses and fewer than half are actually charged with a crime. Here … Continue reading

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Posted in Analysis, Conditions of Confinement, Delinquency, Juveniles, Organizations, Sentencing | 1 Comment

Juvenile Hall is Often No Place for Kids

My latest op-ed — also published via the Huffington Post and Youth Today: DURHAM, N.C. — The local detention center where my juvenile clients are held while their cases are pending is called the “Youth Home.” The irony of the label is … Continue reading

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Posted in Conditions of Confinement, Delinquency, Juvenile Court, Juveniles, Rehabilitation, Sentencing | 6 Comments

Reconsidering Life Sentences for Juveniles who Kill

My latest for the Huffington Post: In the 1993 book Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean tells the story of people directly impacted by capital punishment — convicted murderers counting down to their own executions, wardens and guards dutifully operating the … Continue reading

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Posted in Adult Court, Death Penalty, Juveniles, Miller v. Alabama, Post-Conviction, Sentencing, U.S. Supreme Court | 3 Comments