Montgomery v. Louisiana

Brief of Northwestern University School of Law’s Children and Family Justice Center and Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, et al. as amici curiae in Support of Petitioner (full list of amici in appendix).

Brief filed: 07/29/2015


Montgomery v. Louisiana

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 14-280

Prior Decision

Decision below 141 So.3d 264 (La. 2014).


In recognizing that “children are different” from adults, Miller v. Alabama represents a transformation in law, practice, and constitutional jurisprudence relating to the punishment of children, thus warranting retroactive application. In the pre-Miller era of the juvenile “super-predator,” juvenile penalties often reflected the now-discredited premise that children who had committed serious crimes were irredeemable. Miller v. Alabama reboot: even the most serious child offenders are now considered potentially redeemable. Death is no longer uniquely different under the Eighth Amendment; after Miller v. Alabama, children are different too. Because of its transformative nature, Miller must be applied retroactively. As a matter of equity and evenhanded justice, Miller v. Alabama should apply retroactively.

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Steven A. Drizin, Laura H. Nirider, Megan G. Crane, Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, Bluhm Legal Clinic, Chicago, IL; Shobda L. Mahadav, Scott F. Main, The Children and Family Justice Center, Bluhm Legal Clinic, Chicago, IL.