Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Not all children will see the light of day outside of the prison walls

From Erik Eckholm at the New York Times: In decisions widely hailed as milestones, the United States Supreme Court in 2010 and 2012 acted to curtail the use of mandatory life sentences for juveniles, accepting the argument that children, even those who are convicted of murder, are less culpable than adults and usually deserve a […]

Texas Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on Same-Sex Divorce

Today the Texas Supreme Court hears five cases for argument. Three cases have been consolidated because they each raise issues regarding same-sex divorce. In the Matter of the Marriage of J.B. and H.B. (11-0024), State of Texas v. Angelique Naylor and Sabrina Daly (11-0114), and In re State of Texas (11-0222). The main question in […]

Baby Veronica Returned to Adoptive Parents

From Randi Kaye and Leslie Bentz at CNN. The 4-year-old girl at the center of a lengthy, high-profile custody dispute between her Native American father and her adoptive parents has been returned to the couple, an attorney for the biological father said Monday. Earlier in the day, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Dusten Brown, the […]

The Future of Mandatory Life Sentences for Juveniles

From the Editorial Board at The New York Times: Young people are different. The Supreme Court has delivered that message repeatedly over the last decade in limiting or flatly prohibiting the most severe criminal punishments for those under 18 at the time of their crime. In 2005, the court banned the death penalty for juveniles. […]

Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Attorney Defends Handling of Rape Case, The News Desk Defense attorney Denise Rafferty spent roughly 80 minutes on the witness stand Tuesday, defending her handling of the case against a former Aquia Harbour teen now fighting to get his name off the state’s sex-offender registry. She said she asked Edgar Coker’s parents multiple times for […]

Friday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Fewer Kids in Illinois Prisons, Illinois Times During the late 1980s and 1990s, Illinois’ youth prisons began filling up rapidly. The tough-on-crime approach that began in the 1960s was at the peak of popularity, and state law reflected it in mandatory minimum sentences and other provisions. From 1985 to 2000, the state’s population of incarcerated […]

Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Supreme Court says Overseas Custody Fight can Continue, CNN The Supreme Court gave unanimous support to an American father’s court fight to regain custody of his daughter living overseas, saying the case is still active even if the child is out of the country. This decision could establish important precedent on the discretion of U.S. […]

Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Judge Opens Door for Michigan Juvenile Lifers, ABC News All Michigan inmates serving no-parole sentences for murder committed as juveniles are entitled to a chance at release, a judge said Wednesday, declaring that a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision applies retroactively. The decision by U.S. District Judge John Corbett O’Meara trumps a ruling last fall […]

More Analysis on Today’s Alabama v. Miller Decision

Ellen Marrus is the George Butler Research Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center. Professor Marrus also serves as Director of UH’s Center for Children, Law & Policy and Director of the Southwest Juvenile Defender Center. She received her J.D. in 1990 from the University of San Francisco and her LL.M. from Georgetown […]

Mandatory Life Without Parole for Juveniles Found Unconstitutional

Today, Justice Kagan’s opinion for the Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs (Arkansas) was announced.  The Court held that the Eighth Amendment prohibits mandatory sentencing of life in prison without parole for juveniles.  This is a great step in understanding that children are different and less mature than adults and deserve […]

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Cases Challenging Juvenile Life Sentences Without Chance of Parole

Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases challenging the constitutionality of sentencing minors convicted of murder to life in prison without a chance for parole. The two cases are Miller v. Alabama (Case No. 10-9646) and Jackson v. Hobbs (Case No. 10-9647). SCOTUSblog has provided a comprehensive background and analysis of both […]