Mining Amicus Briefs for Data in Waiver/Transfer Cases

At the National Juvenile Defender Center Leadership Summit, held November 1-3, 2013, in Scottsdale, Arizona, Simmie Baer and others presented on strategies for waiver/transfer hearings.  One suggestion resonated — use data in the amicus briefs from the four recent, significant U.S. Supreme Court cases involving juveniles to augment the arguments to keep the children within the juvenile court’s jurisdiction.  Numerous organizations as varied as the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychological Association, Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Juvenile Law Center, and the American Bar Association wrote amicus briefs in the various cases.

J.D.B. v. North Carolina (a child’s age is a relevant factor when determining whether a child is custody for purposes of Miranda and interrogation) — Merit and amicus briefs, as well as the Court’s opinion, are available here.

Miller v. Alabama (mandatory life without parole violates the Eighth Amendment for juveniles convicted of murder) –Merit and amicus briefs, as well as the Court’s opinion, are available here.

Graham v. Florida (sentencing a juvenile to life without parole for a non-homicide crime violates the Eight Amendment) — Merit and amicus briefs, as well as the Court’s opinion, are available here.

Roper v. Simmons (the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment violating the Eight Amendment for juvenile offenders convicted of murder) — the amicus briefs are not gathered at Scotusblog, like the other, newer cases.  A sampling of amicus briefs include: the American Bar Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Juvenile Defender Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

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