450 students from Father Gabriel Richard Catholic High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan recently submitted an amicus brief in support of juveniles who were sentenced to mandatory life without parole, according to articles by Brian Dickerson and Patricia Montemurri from the Detroit Free Press. See the articles here and here. The March 6, 2014, hearing will address whether juvenile defendants who were sentenced under laws that have since been determined by the U.S. Supreme Court to be unconstitutional as cruel and unusual have the right to resentencing or parole. The State of Michigan’s position is that the law applies only to new cases and not retroactively.
The brief was authored in large part by a junior, Matilyn Sarosi, and submitted with the assistance of Jon Muth, an attorney from Grand Rapids. In the Motion For Leave to File Amicus Brief, Ms. Sarosi noted that “students have a unique perspective on issues of juvenile justice being of an age and maturity similar to that of young men and women who find themselves involved in juvenile crime.” Throughout the amicus brief, Ms. Sarosi cites to constitutional law, case law, and biblical passages, using compelling topic headings, such as “we know from experience that children are immature, impulsive and reckless decision-makers, but give us ten years and we’ll change.” Her amicus brief is available here.