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November 5, 2010

"Using Graham v. Florida to Challenge Juvenile Transfer Laws"

The title of this post is the title of this new article by Neelum Arya, the Research and Policy Director at the Campaign for Youth Justice. Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

This Article suggests that lawyers consider using Graham to ensure that every child under the age of eighteen, regardless of whether the child has been given a JLWOP sentence, is entitled to a chance to "atone for his crimes and learn from his mistakes" so that he may demonstrate that the bad acts he committed as a teenager are not representative of his true character.  Graham is not merely an extension or incremental continuation of Roper, but provides significant fodder for a reexamination of our juvenile justice policies more broadly, including the possibility of removing retribution as a valid goal of the criminal justice system as applied to youth, and firmly establishing a constitutional right to rehabilitation.  Graham is revolutionary in that it cuts to the heart of why we have a juvenile justice system, why it is separate from the adult system, and hopefully will make us rethink why we let the two bleed together so often.  Although Graham directly addresses the constitutionality of JLWOP sentences, the author argues that there are several collateral holdings within Graham relevant to challenge the transfer of youth to the adult system as well.

November 5, 2010 at 08:27 AM | Permalink

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