Monday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Court Ruling Prompts State to Review Juvenile Sentencing Laws, The Advocate

LAFAYETTE — Nearly 300 Louisiana prison inmates have a stake in this year’s legislative session where lawmakers will rewrite sentencing statutes for juveniles who are 17 or younger when they commit murder.

Current laws in Louisiana and some other states mandate that juveniles who are tried as adults for murder face the same penalty as an adult convicted of murder — life without parole or reduction of sentence. Adults, although not juveniles, are subject to the death penalty if convicted in a case prosecuted as a capital murder.

Louisiana’s law is in line for changes as a result of a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision titled Miller v. Alabama. The nation’s high court ruled in that case that automatic life sentences for youths violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment…

Indiana Supreme Court Requires Mediation in the Lawsuit Over Juvenile Court Vacancy, nwi.com

The Indiana Supreme Court is ordering mediation in the Lake Superior Court judges and magistrates’ legal tussle over how to fill the Lake Juvenile Court vacancy, court records filed Monday show.

Lake Juvenile Court magistrates Glenn Commons, Jeffery Miller and Charlotte Peller sued last month to stop Lake Superior Court Judge Nicholas Schiralli from taking the position vacated by former Juvenile Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura. Bonaventura left the bench to become the new director of the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Schiralli, who did not go through merit selection, had planned to transfer into the Lake Juvenile Court vacancy based on seniority, even though his move would violate a state law prohibiting the transfer of a judge who has not gone through merit selection…

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