Category Archives: Juvenile Law

South Dakota House Committee Passes New “Sexting” Definition on to Full House Vote

South Dakota lawmakers passed a key legislative hurdle yesterday to redefine “sexting” in their state’s laws:  A South Dakota lawmaker more narrowly defined “juvenile sexting” on Monday, saying he doesn’t think the illegal activity should fall under the child pornography law. An amended version of Mitchell Republican Sen. Mike Vehle’s bill passed the House Judiciary […]

A Link Between the Death Penalty and Juvenile Justice

As a death penalty attorney for over twenty-five years, David Dow asks us to consider the bigger picture in a death row inmate’s story. Over 75% of death row inmates have a previous history with the juvenile justice system. Dow emphasizes the need for effective intervention and prevention during childhood. Check out his presentation. TEDxAustin […]

Only 6 weeks until the 11th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference!

We are only six weeks from the 11th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference, held annually at the University of Houston Law Center. More importantly, we are only 18 DAYS from the close of early registration. After March 1st, the $80 early registration fee rises to $200. Take advantage of the early fee by registering today! You can register […]

Jury Finds Houston-Area Teen Who Fatally Shot Her Abusive Father Not Guilty

A Harris County jury delivered a not guilty verdict Monday for a Houston-area student who shot and killed her abusive father. In April 2009, Mark Nelson walked into the bathroom and watched his twelve year-old daughter in the bathtub. Trial testimony showed that Nelson’s behavior was part of a pattern of physical and sexual abuse […]

Rosenberg Scholars visit the 315th Juvenile Court

Several of the Rosenberg Scholars (Janice, Alex, Chloe) had the opportunity to visit the 315th Juvenile Court last week and speak with Associate Judge Angela Ellis about the child protection court system in Harris County. Judge Ellis was very generous with her time and spoke to us about her role as judge and developing the GIRLS […]

Day One of the Juvenile Defenders Summit

Friday was the first day of the National Juvenile Defenders Leadership Summit.  The Center for Children, Law & Policy scholars had the opportunity to meet many practicing defenders and learn practical tips as well as current research and statistics. The breakout session that I enjoyed the most was on the issues facing Native American delinquent […]

National Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit 2011

This weekend several of our scholars will be in Seattle for the annual National Juvenile Defender Leadership Summit. The Summit is a three-day conference where juvenile defenders from every state meet to discuss and learn about important issues facing our youth and those who defend them. Topics at past conferences have included immigration issues (such […]

Another “Cash-for-Kids” Judge Sentenced to 17.5 years in prison

Last Friday, former Pennsylvania juvenile judge Michael Conahan was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison for sending teenagers to youth detention facilities in exchange for kickbacks from the detention center builder. ABA Journal has more: Former President Judge Michael Conahan, 59, was sentenced Friday, report the Legal Intelligencer and the Associated Press. He also was […]

Children and Homicide: A Tough Call

Last week, Sixty Minutes aired a segment on the murder of neo-Nazi leader Jeffrey Hall.  I hadn’t heard about the incident, which occurred last May, and was shocked to hear that Jeffrey Hall’s ten year old son was the alleged murderer.  This case brings up many issues about juvenile sentencing, child abuse, and children’s mental health.  Hall […]

Words into Action? Outcome to be Determined… Texas Foster Care System Redesign

Senate Bill 218 went into effect this month. Section 11 of this bill requires the Texas Department of Family Services (DFPS) to “implement a redesign of the foster care system,” in accordance with the Foster Care Redesign Report submitted in January 2011. The Foster Care Redesign Report discusses the lack of local services available to […]

Symposium: “For Their Own Good?” Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System

The Center for Children, Law & Policy at the University of Houston Law Center and the ACLU of Texas are proud to host a legal symposium and community forum entitled “FOR THEIR OWN GOOD?” CHILDREN IN THE ADULT CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. When:  Friday, October 22, 2010 Time:  12:30-4:30pm Where:  University of Houston Law Center, Krost […]

Is our justice system just? – Clemency for Sara Kruzan

The story of Sara Kruzan is complicated and compelling. Growing up in Riverside, California, Sara’s life was plagued by abuse: she was molested by several men, gang raped by neighbors, and emotionally and verbally abused by her mother. Despite this abuse, Sara excelled in school, sports, and a social life. Her life changed when, at […]