NACDL - Representing Juveniles at Sentencing in Adult Court in the Post Roper, Graham, and Miller Era

Representing Juveniles at Sentencing in Adult Court in the Post Roper, Graham, and Miller Era

The recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Graham, Miller and Jackson have greatly affected the sentencing of juveniles and all aspects of representing a juvenile client in adult court.

In Graham v. Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to impose life without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of non-homicide offenses, largely because developmental and scientific research show that juveniles possess a greater capacity for rehabilitation, change, and growth than adults, and are less culpable for their criminal conduct. In Miller v. Alabama, the Court then held that mandatory life without parole for those under the age of 18 at the time of their crime (including homicide offenses) violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on “cruel and unusual punishments.”

NACDL, in partnership with Juvenile Law Center, the National Juvenile Defender Center and the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, and with support from the Foundation for Criminal Justice and the Ford Foundation presents a series of FREE webcast trainings on all aspects of these important new developments in juvenile law. The webcasts provide essential instruction for lawyers representing a juvenile at sentencing in adult court and lawyers handling the resentencing of an individual previously sentenced to juvenile life without parole. They are available online free for NACDL members and non-members as well, so please tell your colleagues!

CLE Information

Available for up to 3.5 hours of self-study credits where applicable. Contact NACDL CLE Accreditation & Education Assistant Cori Crisfield for more information, (202) 465-7643.

Faculty Biographies

9/14/12 ~ Lessons Learned from Graham v. Florida

Video streaming by Ustream 

Speakers: Stephen Harper, Carol KolinchakSonya Rudenstine  Moderator: Marsha Levick

9/14/12 ~ Re-sentencing Juveniles Convicted of Homicide Post-Miller

Video streaming by Ustream 

Read the presentation

Speakers: Stephen Harper, Paul Mones 

Session Topics
  • Investigation: what type of records to seek, strategies for getting old records, prison records, witnesses to interview
  • Experts: what type of expert is needed, and how to utilize them
  • Advocacy: tips on the hearing itself: taking all the information gathered to create and present a narrative, including how you handle the transition difficulty of adolescents/young adults during the early years in prison (a model argument will be presented)

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