Saturday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

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Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice backs innocence, juvenile justice reforms, Grits for Breakfast

Though the Texas Supreme Court only has jurisdiction over civil and juvenile justice cases, Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson spoke out in his State of the Judiciary address yesterday on behalf of criminal-justice reform.

Wyoming Law Eliminating Mandatory Juvenile LWOP Won’t Be Retroactive, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

A recently-passed Wyoming law barring mandatory life without parole sentences for juvenile offenders will not apply to the state’s prisoners currently serving life sentences for crimes they committed as minors, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.

A bill signed earlier this month by Gov. Matthew Mead allows opportunities for parole after 25 years for juveniles with life sentences. When the law becomes effective this summer, it will not retroactively reduce the sentences of those already serving life without parole sentences for juvenile offenses within the state, according to Deputy Attorney General Dave Delicath.

Number of Kids Behind Bars Reaches 35-Year Law, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

There were fewer kids behind bars in 2010 than there have been in 35 years, demonstrating what one foundation called a “sea change” in American attitudes toward juvenile justice, according to a trio of new reports out today based on U.S. Census data.

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