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    • Brief

    McCallum v. Italy

    Amicus Curiae to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.

    Argument: Article 3 of the ECHR absolutely prohibits the infliction of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In a series of major decisions since 2013, the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR has spelt out the criteria according to which sentences of life imprisonment must be implemented to ensure that Article 3 is not infringed. If life sentences meet these criteria, they can be imposed and implemented consistently with Article 3. Article 3 also governs extradition from member states. When a member state receives an extradition request, it has a duty to assess prospectively whether allowing extradition may result in a life sentence in the requesting state that would infringe Article 3, as interpreted by the ECtHR. This does not impose a burden on a non-member state seeking extradition, but on the member state from which extradition is sought. Such member state must ensure that its actions in allowing extradition do not foreseeably result in the Article 3 rights of a person in its jurisdiction later being infringed by a non-member state. The amici curiae submit in this intervention that the criteria developed by the ECtHR in respect of life imprisonment should be applied when deciding whether Italy is justified in extraditing McCallum to stand trial in Michigan, where she will be sentenced mandatorily to Life Without Parole (LWOP) if she is convicted of first-degree murder.

    • Brief

    People v. Carp; People v. Davis; People v. Eliason

    Brief of Juvenile Law Center, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, et al. as amici curiae In Support of Appellants Carp, Davis and Eliason (full list of amici in appendix to attached brief).

    Argument: Miller reaffirms the U.S. Supreme Court’s recognition that children are categorically less deserving of the harshest forms of punishments. Miller v. Alabama applies retroactively. Miller is retroactive because Kuntrell Jackson received the same relief on collateral review. Miller applies retroactively pursuant to Teague v. LaneMiller is retroactive because it announces a substantive rule that categorically prohibits the imposition of mandatory life without parole on all juvenile offenders. Miller is retroactive because it involves a substantive interpretation of the Eighth Amendment that reflects the Supreme Court’s evolving understanding of child and adolescent development. Miller is a "watershed rule" under Teague. Once the Court declares a particular sentence "cruel and unusual" when imposed on a juvenile, the continued imposition of that sentence violates the Eighth Amendment. Any life without parole sentences for a juvenile who did not kill or intend to kill is inconsistent with adolescent development and neuroscience research and unconstitutional pursuant to Miller and Graham. Intent to kill cannot be inferred when a juvenile is convicted of felony murder. Any life without parole sentence for a juvenile convicted of felony murder is unconstitutional pursuant to Miller and Graham. All juveniles convicted of murder in Michigan are entitled to individualized sentences that presumptively provide a meaningful opportunity for release.

    • Brief

    Illinois v. Pacheco

    Brief of Juvenile Law Center, Loyola Civitas Childlaw Clinic, et al., as Amici Curiae in Support of Defendant-Appellant (full list of amici in Appendix A to attached brief).

    Argument: U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence demonstrates that the automatic prosecution and mandatory sentencing of certain youth charged with murder as adults is unconstitutional. Under U.S. Supreme Court case law, Illinois’s transfer and mandatory sentencing statutes are unconstitutional because they do not allow for individualized sentencing of minors transferred to adult court and convicted of murder. Youth are fundamentally different from adults in constitutionally relevant ways. The Illinois automatic transfer and mandatory sentencing statutes are unconstitutional because they do not permit a sentencing court to consider the individual maturity and degree of culpability of each youth convicted of murder. The U.S. Supreme Court’s “kids are different” jurisprudence is not limited to a particular type of crime, sentence or constitutional provision. Illinois’ statutory scheme is unconstitutional because it subjects youth who were not principally responsible – such as those charged with felony murder or those charged under an accountability theory – to automatic transfer to adult court and mandatory sentencing without a court’s consideration of the constitutionally relevant attributes of adolescence. Illinois’s statutory scheme departs from national norms. Illinois is an outlier because its statutes require certain youth to be tried in adult court based on age and charge alone, without the opportunity for a court to make an individualized determination as to whether juvenile court jurisdiction would be more appropriate based on the youth’s unique degree of culpability and capacity for change and rehabilitation. Public policy and public opinion overwhelmingly opposes the automatic transfer to adult court and mandatory imposition of adult sentences without judicial review of the individual youth’s degree of culpability and amenability to rehabilitation.