Missouri v. Smiley

Brief of Amici Juvenile Law Center, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, et al. Supporting Respondent Jerri Smiley (full list of amici in appendix to attached brief).

Brief filed: 08/24/2015


Missouri v. Smiley

Supreme Court of Missouri; Case No. SC94745

Prior Decision

Appeal from Greene County Circuit Court, 31st Judicial Circuit, The Honorable Calvin R. Holden, Case No. 1331-CR04069-01.


Miller v. Alabama reaffirms the U.S. Supreme Court's recognition that children are categorically less culpable than adults. The U.S. Supreme Court's jurisprudence that children are different than adults in constitutionally relevant ways is not limited to a specific crime or sentence. Because of adolescents' reduced culpability, Missouri's armed criminal action statute cannot be mechanically applied to juvenile offenders. Incarcerating juvenile offenders in adult facilities diminishes public safety and places youth at risk of severe harm.

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Marsha L. Levick, Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia, PA; Mae C. Quinn, Juvenile Law and Justice Clinic, Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, MO.