OJD Week In Review: August 5-9, Short But Sweet

It’s August, and things can get a little slow at OJD, but we do have a few highlights for you.  Hope to see folks at the Annual Conference today!

Tip of the Week

Transcript of Admission Tips 

Filling out a transcript of admission on any admission of a new offense is important for several reasons.  It memorializes the record of admission in writing if subject to an appeal.  Reviewing the transcript with your client helps your client better understand the admission and the rights s/he is asserting or waiving.  Make sure you complete the transcript with your client present and do so in a confidential space. Consider making a copy of the transcript to keep at the attorney table to help your client answer questions.  Stand with your client when the court asks your client the listed questions and be prepared to confer with your client if any issues arise.

If you missed it, check out out Guest Blogger: David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

David Andrews



Also, if you haven’t, check out IDS’ Facebook page, full of great information, in particular the personal testimonies of public defenders, and follow IDS on Twitter.

                                       new ids logo

 



Guest Blogger: David Andrews, Office of the Appellate Defender

Any Given Sunday  I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch a lot of football.  The games are long and there’s that persistent risk of concussion.  But a phrase you sometimes hear with football – “any given Sunday” – has a ring to it.  During any particular game, the underdog could surprise everyone and upset a higher-ranked team.  So it is with the law.  The Supreme Court of North Carolina issues opinions once or month or once every two months, but always on a Friday.  And, so, on any given Friday, a defendant or a juvenile could surprise everyone and come out on top.  The Court of Appeals issues opinions on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.  So, you know, “any given Tuesday.”  But how do you get to a point where an upset is possible?  One way is through motions.  Over the past several months, my colleagues and I at the Office of the Appellate Defender (“OAD”) have been working with attorneys at the Office of the Juvenile Defender (“OJD”), the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, and Prisoner Legal Services on sample motions for various issues.  You can find these motions on the OAD and OJD websites.  The motions are designed in part to preserve legal arguments and, thus, to achieve that unexpected win on appeal.  However, they also serve to educate judges and lawyers about specific legal issues.  And who knows? One or more of the motions might win in trial court.  One set of motions involves the new offenses of making a false report of mass violence on educational property and communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property.  The motions involve various free speech arguments.  From the outside, free speech arguments can seem complicated.  But have no fear – these motions provide case law and a roadmap for asserting free speech claims.  Another motion lays out an argument that the State should be required to give notice if it intends to seek a higher disposition on the ground that the juvenile committed the offense while on probation and then prove that the juvenile was on probation beyond a reasonable doubt.  Juveniles are entitled to the same notice as adults.  In addition, the State is required to prove every fact necessary to constitute the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Under Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), sentencing enhancements in criminal cases are treated as elements that the State is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  The same logic should arguably apply to delinquency cases.  Finally, there is a batch a motions that all involve extending Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012) to some of its logical conclusions.  For example, there is a motion arguing that the mandatory transfer of first-degree murder cases to adult court is unconstitutional. If judges are required to take youth into account before imposing an LWOP sentence, they should be required to do so before transferring the case to adult court.  Another motion argues that the threshold for imposing the death penalty and mandatory LWOP sentences should be extended from 18- to 25-years old.  Miller was premised on research into adolescent brain development.  And, so, if that same research indicates that the adolescent brain does not finish maturing until the mid-20s, then the law should reflect that research, as well.  Finally, there’s a motion arguing that felony murder should not apply to juveniles.  In North Carolina, felony murder is based on deterrence.  However, Miller explains that deterrence doesn’t work with kids because kids tend act impulsively without considering the consequences of their conduct.  All of these arguments are just that – arguments.  Some may win, some will lose.  But we won’t know unless we try.  On any given day in court, anything is possible. Profile Picture - Small
David Andrews

Any Given Sunday

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch a lot of football.  The games are long and there’s that persistent risk of concussion.  But a phrase you sometimes hear with football – “any given Sunday” – has a ring to it.  During any particular game, the underdog could surprise everyone and upset a higher-ranked team.

So it is with the law.  The Supreme Court of North Carolina issues opinions once or month or once every two months, but always on a Friday.  And, so, on any given Friday, a defendant or a juvenile could surprise everyone and come out on top.  The Court of Appeals issues opinions on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.  So, you know, “any given Tuesday.”

But how do you get to a point where an upset is possible?  One way is through motions.  Over the past several months, my colleagues and I at the Office of the Appellate Defender (“OAD”) have been working with attorneys at the Office of the Juvenile Defender (“OJD”), the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, and Prisoner Legal Services on sample motions for various issues.  You can find these motions on the OAD and OJD websites.  The motions are designed in part to preserve legal arguments and, thus, to achieve that unexpected win on appeal.  However, they also serve to educate judges and lawyers about specific legal issues.  And who knows? One or more of the motions might win in trial court.

One set of motions involves the new offenses of making a false report of mass violence on educational property and communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property.  The motions involve various free speech arguments.  From the outside, free speech arguments can seem complicated.  But have no fear – these motions provide case law and a roadmap for asserting free speech claims.

Another motion lays out an argument that the State should be required to give notice if it intends to seek a higher disposition on the ground that the juvenile committed the offense while on probation and then prove that the juvenile was on probation beyond a reasonable doubt.  Juveniles are entitled to the same notice as adults.  In addition, the State is required to prove every fact necessary to constitute the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Under Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), sentencing enhancements in criminal cases are treated as elements that the State is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  The same logic should arguably apply to delinquency cases.

Finally, there is a batch a motions that all involve extending Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012) to some of its logical conclusions.  For example, there is a motion arguing that the mandatory transfer of first-degree murder cases to adult court is unconstitutional. If judges are required to take youth into account before imposing an LWOP sentence, they should be required to do so before transferring the case to adult court.  Another motion argues that the threshold for imposing the death penalty and mandatory LWOP sentences should be extended from 18- to 25-years old.  Miller was premised on research into adolescent brain development.  And, so, if that same research indicates that the adolescent brain does not finish maturing until the mid-20s, then the law should reflect that research, as well.  Finally, there’s a motion arguing that felony murder should not apply to juveniles.  In North Carolina, felony murder is based on deterrence.  However, Miller explains that deterrence doesn’t work with kids because kids tend act impulsively without considering the consequences of their conduct.

All of these arguments are just that – arguments.  Some may win, some will lose.  But we won’t know unless we try.  On any given day in court, anything is possible.

OJD Week in Review: July 22 -26

This week there is a new tip and just the single training reminder.  Please make sure to subscribe to the OJD blog and follow our OJD Twitter and Facebook pages as well to get updates, relevant articles, and other juvenile defense-related content throughout the week. Have a wonderful week and remember knowledge is power!!

Tip of the Week

Relevant Ages in Juvenile Court (Other than Age of Jurisdiction)

While NC is poised to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction, here are some other relevant ages in the Juvenile Code:

6 Earliest age (date of criminal act) one can be a delinquent juvenile or undisciplined juvenile.
10 Youngest age an alleged delinquent juvenile may be fingerprinted or photographed.
Youngest age a delinquent juvenile may be committed to a youth development center.
11 Youngest age a delinquent juvenile may be registered as a juvenile sex offender.
13 Youngest age an alleged delinquent juvenile may be transferred to superior court.
Under 16*

(as of 2015)

Age at which an alleged delinquent juvenile’s admission or confession must be excluded if the juvenile’s parent/guardian or attorney was not present during an in-custody interrogation.
16-18 Age at which an alleged delinquent juvenile must be notified of the right to have a parent or guardian present, as well as an attorney, before an admission or confession may be used against the juvenile.

Training 

Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences Registration end today at 5 PM

Registration is now open for the 2019 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, Aug. 8 and the Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, Aug. 9, and both would begin at 8:30 a.m. each day.  Both conferences, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, and offer approximately six hours of CLE credit.  The Parent Attorney Conference provides training for attorneys, who represent parents in abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights proceedings.  The Juvenile Defender Conference provides training for attorneys who represent children in delinquency proceedings.  Please feel free to download the Juvenile Defender Conference agenda here and the Parent Attorney Conference agenda here.  If you have any questions, please contact Program Manager Kate Jennings, or if you have questions about the course content, please contact Program Attorney Austine Long.

Job Opportunity

The Council for Children’s Rights (CFCR) serves as the public defender for children in Mecklenburg County. Through a contract with the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, CDT attorneys represent all children charged with crimes in juvenile delinquency court. In addition to performing the public defender role in juvenile court, CDT represents every child who is facing civil commitment to a mental health hospital or residential treatment facility. As expressed-interest attorneys, CDT causes children’s voices to be heard in court and protects their constitutional and statutory rights.  CFCR is the only specialized juvenile defense agency in North Carolina.

CFCR is looking to hire a Director of the Children’s Defense team.  For more information, click here.

Articles

Registration of Juvenile Offenders

Recent publication and updates on “SORNA”  Sex  Offender Registration  Notification Act  In 2016, the Supplemental Guidelines for Juvenile Registration under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act were published in the Federal Register. However,  North Carolina has not yet  implemented this act. To learn  more about SORNA visit: www.smart.gov/caselaw/Case-Law-Update-2019-Compiled.pdf

Dual Jurisdiction Youth

UNC School of Government Professor Jacqui Greene, who co-authored a bulletin on “dual jurisdiction youth,” those youth in both the child welfare and delinquency courts, has written a follow up article on the intersection of dual jurisdiction youth and the upcoming RTA changes.

Legislation

Senate Bill 413, which includes recommendations from the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee, passed the House and has passed in the Senate for concurrence.  It was presented to the governor for his signature on July 24th. Once the bill is final, we’ll be sure to get a breakdown on the OJD site and of course will be included in the upcoming training materials.

 

OJD Week in Review: July 15 – 19

This Week’s Blog Includes:

  • We’re Hiring!
  • Tip of the Week
  • Legislative Update
  • Still Time to Sign Up for the Annual Training!

Untitled

We’re hiring for a new Communications and Office Manager! Duties include responsible for defining and executing a social media strategy, including maintaining and updating the juvenile defender website, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and other social media; maintaining a list of juvenile defense counsel statewide including privately assigned counsel, contractors, public defenders, and clinics; identifying new juvenile defenders and create and update information packages for new defenders; assisting with the development of new technologies/platforms for providing legal education; providing general office support and management.

For a complete list of duties and details about the position, click here for the posting.

Tip of the Week – Searches Not on School Property

While an earlier tip referred to searches on school property as involving a lower standard, searches of juveniles not on school property are governed by a “reasonable juvenile standard.”  Specifically, In the matter of I.R.T., 184 N.C. App. 579, 647 S.E.2d 129 (2007) held that the age of a juvenile is a relevant factor in determining whether a reasonable person would feel free to leave upon being stopped by law enforcement.

Legislation

Senate Bill 413, which includes recommendations from the Juvenile Jurisdiction Advisory Committee, has passed the House and is being sent back to the Senate for concurrence.  It is on the Senate Calendar for Monday, July 22. Once the bill is final, we’ll be sure to get a breakdown on the OJD site and of course will be included in the upcoming training materials.  The budget bill with RTA funding was passed and then vetoed by the governor.  Both the House and the Senate have proposed supplemental budget bills, with the House bill including some RTA funding, but there is currently no version agreed upon by both chambers.

Training

Registration is now open for the 2019 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, Aug. 8 and the Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, Aug. 9, and both would begin at 8:30 a.m. each day.  Both conferences, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, and offer approximately six hours of CLE credit.  The Parent Attorney Conference provides training for attorneys, who represent parents in abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights proceedings.  The Juvenile Defender Conference provides training for attorneys who represent children in delinquency proceedings.  Please feel free to download the Juvenile Defender Conference agenda here and the Parent Attorney Conference agenda here.  If you have any questions, please contact Program Manager Kate Jennings, or if you have questions about the course content, please contact Program Attorney Austine Long.

OJD Week in Review: June 17 – 21

Greetings and happy Friday!  This week there is a new tip, a case law update, and the normal reminders.  And because July 2 is rapidly approaching, please note there is still time to apply to become an N.C. State Bar-certified juvenile defender!  If you are interested, please visit the N.C. State Bar Legal Specialization page.  We want to grow the N.C. juvenile defender community!

Case Law Update

Back in January of this year, the Court of Appeals filed an opinion, In the Matter of E.M.  The decision on the case had been stayed pending the State’s petition for discretionary review, which was denied last Friday.  Please be advised that based on this new case law, when faced with any amount of evidence of mental health/developmental disabilities/substance abuse, the trial court has a statutory duty to refer a juvenile to the area mental health services director for a multidisciplinary evaluation.  To review the opinion, please check our Case Summaries List here.  This case can be found in section 15 – Dispositions: Sentencing.

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Tip of the Week – Was the Petition Properly Amended

The court may permit an amendment to the petition when it does not change the nature of the offense charged (N.C.G.S. §7B-2400).  When the amendment changes the nature of the offense, it is a jurisdictional issue that cannot be waived.  So, if you agree to admit to a charge that is not a lesser included offense, the prosecutor needs to dismiss the original petition and file a new petition with the agreed upon new offense.  This doesn’t have to be complicated and can happen in court.  Make sure the court counselor signs and approves the new petition for filing and then you can waive notice and proceed with the admission to the new agreed upon offense.

Job and Fellowship Opportunities

Today is your last chance to apply for the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN)‘s executive director position.  The executive director will be responsible for fundraising, strategic planning, communicating with board members, supervising staff, and ensuring that the organization adheres to its intersectional and anti-racist practices and principles in its internal operations.  To see the full job description, please go here.  To apply or if you have questions, please contact NJJN here.

Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys (UJDA) is seeking applicants for an attorney to join their delinquency defense practice to assist in the representation of young people charged with delinquent offenses resulting in involvement in the juvenile justice system.  UJDA is a small firm whose attorneys collectively have more than 80 years of experience handling juvenile delinquency cases.  This is an excellent opportunity to join a sophisticated nationally recognized delinquency defense firm and work in a dynamic, expanding, and team-oriented atmosphere.  Qualified candidates should have general knowledge of delinquency law and/or criminal law with excellent written and oral communication.  They should also have working knowledge of advocacy techniques, principles of law and their applications, and criminal trial procedures and the rules of evidence.  Qualified candidates should be good standing members of the Utah State Bar.  UJDA values the strength of having a diverse and inclusive work environment, and strongly believes that everyone should feel welcomed and part of our community.  The application deadline is July 5, 2019.  Applications will be reviewed upon receipt, and the position is open until filled.  For more information about the position or the application process, please see details here or contact Monica Diaz by email.

Training

Registration is now open for the 2019 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender conferences.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, Aug. 8 and the Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, Aug. 9, and both would begin at 8:30 a.m. each day.  Both conferences, cosponsored by the School of Government and the Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, and offer approximately six hours of CLE credit.  The Parent Attorney Conference provides training for attorneys, who represent parents in abuse, neglect, dependency, and termination of parental rights proceedings.  The Juvenile Defender Conference provides training for attorneys who represent children in delinquency proceedings.  Please feel free to download the Juvenile Defender Conference agenda here and the Parent Attorney Conference agenda here.  If you have any questions, please contact Program Manager Kate Jennings, or if you have questions about the course content, please contact Program Attorney Austine Long.

The deadline for online registration of the 2019 Defender Trial School is Tuesday, June 25.  This event, cosponsored by the School of Government and the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be held Monday, July 8, through Friday, July 12, at the School of Government on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.  Defender Trial School participants will use their own cases to develop a cohesive theory of defense at trial and apply that theory through all stages of trial, including voir dire, opening and closing arguments, and direct and cross-examination. The program will offer roughly 29 hours of general CLE credit.  The Defender Trial School is open to public defenders and a limited number of private attorneys who perform a significant amount of appointed work.  IDS has expanded the number of fellowships available to cover the registration fee, but please note there is a limited number of fellowships.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please email Kate Jennings or Professor John Rubin or call 919-962-3287/919-962-2498.  To register, find a fellowship application, see the agenda, or find any other information, please check out the course page here.

TRAINING--DEVELOPMENT

That ends our end-of-week report.  Please make sure to subscribe to the OJD blog if you haven’t already and head over to our OJD Twitter and Facebook pages as well to get updates, relevant articles, and other juvenile defense-related content throughout the week!

OJD Week in Review: Mar. 4 – 8

Welcome back!  This week we’re bringing attention to an update on our “Materials” page, a new tip, a fellowship opportunity, and training announcements.

Tip of the Week – Was Your Client’s Parent Present?

Any juvenile under the age of 16 must have a parent present for any in-custody interview. Any statement made without the parent’s presence is not admissible into evidence (§7B-2101(b)). Remember – “in-custody” is an objective test and uses the “reasonable juvenile” standard!

New Resource

We have updated our case summaries list, including new cases such as In re E.M. and In re B.B. and removing the broken links for all cases that took place prior to 2006.  Please feel free to download and review these cases as needed here.  If you find any issue with the document or its links, please contact our office.

Fellowship Opportunity

ChristyYJLIThe National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN)  is now accepting applications to the 2019 Youth Justice Leadership Institute!  The Institute is a year-long fellowship program focused on developing a strong base of well-prepared and well-equipped advocates and organizers who reflect the communities most affected by juvenile justice system practices and policies.  This program is geared towards individuals of color working as professionals in the juvenile justice field, who may also be young adults who are system survivors themselves, or family members of someone in the system.  Each year, 10 fellows from across the country are selected to develop their leadership and advocacy skills in the context of a robust curriculum around youth justice reform.  The fellowship is completed concurrently with fellows’ current employment, so fellows do not have to leave their jobs to participate in the Institute.  The fellowship includes two fully financed retreats, mentoring and frequent distance learning opportunities.  Interested in learning more about the Institute, or know someone who might be?  NJJN will be hosting two informational webinars on March 21 and April 4, led by the Institute’s coordinator, Diana Onley-Campbell.  To learn more or apply, find additional info here, or please register for one of the informational webinars here.  The deadline to apply for the fellowship will be 11:59 p.m. on April 29th.

Training

Registration for the “2019 Regional Training for Indigent Defense: Special Issues in Felony Cases” is now open to IDS contract attorneys and to privately assigned counsel representing indigent clients.  The training will focus on special issues in felony cases and include a two hour session on gangs.  The Regional Training will be held on Thursday, March 21 at the East Carolina Heart Institute (ECHI) at ECU, located at 115 Heart Drive, Greenville, NC 27834.  The training will take place in the Conference Room beginning at 12:45 p.m.  Free parking is available in the visitor lots adjacent to ECHI as well as the Family Medicine building next door.  Refreshments will be provided.  To register and to find additional program information, visit their course page here.  The registration deadline for the Regional Training is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 18.  The registration fee is $95.00, which includes materials, CLE credit, and snacks.  The training will offer 3.0 hours of general CLE credit.  If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Program Attorney, Austine Long at along@sog.unc.edu or 919.962.9594 or Program Manager, Tanya Jisa at jisa@sog.unc.edu or 919.843.8981.

On March 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., the UNC School of Government (SOG) will be hosting the first North Carolina Criminal Justice Summit in the the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Carolina Club.  The Summit will be lead by SOG’s own Professor of Public Law and Government Jessica Smith and will feature national and state experts with broad-ranging ideological perspectives who will discuss key issues capturing attention in North Carolina and around the nation, including bail reform, overcriminalization, and barriers to re-entry, such as fines and fees, the criminal record, and collateral consequences.  Join the conversation as they explore how these issues impact justice, public safety and economic prosperity in North Carolina, and whether there is common ground to address them.  This event will be free to attend, lunch will be provided, and it offers 5 hours of CJE and free CLE credit.  Attendees are responsible for their travel expenses, including a $14 event parking fee.  For those arriving the night before, state rate and discounted rooms at local hotels will be available.  For more details, please visit here.

Call to Action!

juvdelcriminallaw

North Carolina is in need of dedicated defenders today!  With the expected increase of juvenile defense cases following the full implementation of Raise the Age, North Carolina’s juvenile defender community will be in need of quality juvenile defense attorneys.  We want to encourage attorneys with a passion for protecting our most vulnerable populations, whether you possess decades of experience or you’ve been practicing for just over five years, to consider specializing now.  We also want attorneys fresh out of law school and those currently in law school to plan to take the specialization exam later in their career.  For details on specializing in North Carolina, please check out the link here (links also available on the sidebar).  Applications for the specialization exam with the N.C. State Bar should be open between May and July this year.  For additional resources and information about specializing, please check out the National Juvenile Defender Center’s page here.

That will be all for now, folks!  Please check us out on OJD’s Twitter and Facebook for posts throughout the week.

Duke Law Hosts JLWOP Panel

JLWOP Panel

On Monday, Feb. 11, the Duke Criminal Law Society and Duke Law Professor Brandon L. Garrett (pictured speaking at the lectern stand on the right) hosted a panel discussion regarding their newest study, “Juvenile Life Without Parole in North Carolina.”  The panel featured (seated from left to right) David Andrews of the Office of Appellate DefenderBen Finholt of N.C. Prisoner Legal Services,  and N.C. State Representative Pricey Harrison.

The event opened with an introduction of the panel by Garrett, before panelists presented their own perspectives on the issue of juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) and the study released by Garrett and his colleagues.

Harrison emphasized the negative economic impact JLWOP has on N.C.  She reinforced the argument that juveniles could contribute much more to society if given the opportunity to get an education and job, rather than being held in a facility on hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for a lifetime.

Finholt pointed out the State’s abuse of JLWOP.  “So far, as far as we know with the data we have, there has not been a single JLWOP resentencing hearing where the option of LWOP was on the table and the State has consented to taking it off the table,” he said.  “In every single resentencing hearing where LWOP is an option, the State has sought LWOP.  Every single time.  And I don’t think that matches what the U.S. Supreme Court has told us is supposed to happen in Roper, Graham, Miller, Montgomery.  I think in the whole line, it’s pretty clear that this should be rare.  This should only be used in exceptionally bad circumstances, and I think that is generally the way it has not been handled.”

Andrews also touched on Miller and its implications, disproportionate minority contact, and reform.

“When we talk about juvenile life without parole, we are talking about Miller v. Alabama,” Andrews said.  “What I love about this report that we have now, from Professor Garrett and all the other authors, is that it gives us perspective…  What’s interesting to me is that there is a disproportionate impact that this sentence has on race.  Children of color, these are the individuals who get LWOP.  There is a disproportionate impact on children of color.  We also know from the report that once a county imposes JLWOP, it is more likely to impose that sentence again.  It becomes entrenched.”

Andrews said from the perspective of trial attorneys dealing with JLWOP cases, they should pursue school records, interviews with family members, DSS records, and experts in fields such as adolescent brain science to dissuade a judge from sentencing a child to LWOP.

Andrews posed the question that really hit the core of the issue at hand, asking “Do we really want to sentence kids to die in prison?”

After every panelist had the opportunity to speak and before engaging in a question and answer session with members of the audience, Garrett reiterated the issue.  He pointed out that in the study, one-third of the individuals sentenced to LWOP were not the killers or had no intent to kill, but were convicted under a felony murder theory.

In response to one question about the discussions between legislators regarding juvenile justice, Harrison stated, “There are legislators who are considering continued reforms.  I know that many of us felt like Raise the Age… was an important first step and it took us nearly 15 years to really get on that.  It still needs work and I think that there are legislators interested in that and other juvenile justice issues…  There’s a lot going on.  It’s a different climate right now, but it is a little more conducive to making some of these improvements.”

In regards to Raise the Age and the impact he thought this study could potentially have on possible reforms going forward, Garrett said, “To kind of fix that you need to solve this juvenile life without parole problem.  In some ways it’s about the past.  And I think fixing that problem is a money-saver, but also highlights this moral issue that there should be a possibility of redemption, of rehabilitation for all juvenile sentences…  In some ways it’s a completely different question to Raise the Age.  It’s not about adult court versus juvenile court.  It’s just that there should be meaningful review for long juvenile sentences, no matter what the circumstances.  I think that it’s just a sensible position for the State to have.  It’s the right moral position, it follows the science of juvenile brain development, and it’s not inflexible.”

Garrett stated that the JLWOP study was just one of the projects he and his students were working on, including a traffic court study, parole, and non-juvenile life without parole.  He said this just happened to be one of the first they presented publicly.  To read the report and more from Duke Law’s JustScience Lab, please go here.