OJD Week in Review: May 13 – 17

Happy Friday!  This week we’ve got quite a few new nuggets to share.  There is a new resource from NJDC worth noting, a webinar offering CLE credit, and a training in Rutherford from OJD.  Also, check out the new tip of the week and reminders from the previous weeks.

We also want to bring attention to yesterday’s post regarding the Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP) hosted last month in conjunction with the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) at North Carolina Central University.  JTIP was one of the first steps in OJD’s strategic plan to address changes that can/will come as a result of Raise the Age.  Please read the full post here if you have not had a chance to yet!

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Group photo of new N.C. regional trainers and NJDC JTIP trainers.

Tip of the Week – Suppression

Suppression motions aren’t often used in the District Court setting (outside DWI cases), however juvenile court offers many opportunities for suppression.  The juvenile code outlines the procedure for filing a motion to suppress (§7B-2408.5) and it may be made either in writing before the adjudicatory hearing or orally during the hearing.  Consider whether or not your client’s statement or identifications may be subject to suppression.  Remember – “in custody” is an objective test!  The test is whether a “reasonable juvenile” in the position of the respondent would believe him/herself to be in custody OR that s/he had been deprived of freedom of action in some significant way, and is not based on the subjective intent of the interrogator or the perception of the person under questioning.  That means if your client is in the principal’s office and the SRO is standing in front of the door, would your client feel free to leave?

Job and Fellowship Opportunity

Today is the last day to submit your application for the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights (LCCR)’s mitigation specialist positions in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  The mitigation specialists will be responsible for the investigation and development of competent, thorough, and quality mitigation in accordance with statewide performance standards, the American Bar Association Guidelines, and national best practices.  To apply, please check here to apply for the New Orleans position and here to apply for the Baton Rouge opening.

The North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System (NCCRED) has an opening for a new Executive Director.  The Executive Director will provide leadership and manage all aspects of the organization, including coordinating and filing reports, developing relationships with potential partners, promoting and developing research on racial disparities, and supervising interns and contract staff.  The ideal candidate will have a passion for racial justice, experience in criminal justice reform and all aspects of nonprofit organizational management, excellent communication skills and comfort with managing conflict.  Please find the full job description here.  To apply please submit resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to James E. Williams, Jr., by SaturdayJune 1.  Please include email subject line “NCCRED Director Position.”

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The Forsyth County Public Defender’s Office is currently seeking a new assistant public defender.  The selected candidate will represent indigent clients charged with misdemeanor criminal offenses and will be expected to analyze laws, facts, written documents, conduct legal research, develop litigation strategies.   For the full job description and to apply, please go here.

Training

On Monday, May 20, OJD will be hosting a Juvenile Court Basics Training in Rutherfordton.  The training will take place at the Rutherford County Courthouse from 2 – 4 p.m. and has already been approved for 2 general CLE credit hours.  Juvenile Defender Eric Zogry will be discussing topics such as how to talk to juvenile clients, dispositions, appeals, and more.  Please call our office at 919-890-1650 if you have questions regarding the training or email Marcus Thompson.

Registration is now open for the 2019 Summer Criminal Law Update Webinar which will take place June 7 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.  This webinar will cover recent criminal law decisions issued by the North Carolina appellate courts and U.S. Supreme Court and will highlight significant criminal law legislation enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly.  School of Government criminal law experts John Rubin and Phil Dixon will discuss a wide range of issues affecting felony and misdemeanor cases in the North Carolina state courts.  The webinar, broadcast live from the School of Government, includes a dynamic visual presentation, live audio, and interactive Q&A.  This webinar is open to public defenders, private attorneys who handle or are interested in pursuing indigent criminal defense work, and other court personnel who handle criminal cases.  Please note that pre-registration is required and the deadline to register will be 5 p.m., June 5.  The webinar will offer 1.5 hours of CLE credit and qualifies for N.C. State Bar criminal law specialization credit.  The registration fee for private assigned counsel, contract attorneys, and other non-IDS employees is $75.00.  There is no registration fee for IDS state employees, thanks to support from the Office of Indigent Defense Services.  If you have questions related to webinar content, please contact John Rubin at 919.962.2498 or rubin@sog.unc.edu.  If you have questions about logistics, please Jessica O’Sullivan at 919.962.9754 or josullivan@sog.unc.edu.

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Please save the dates for the 2019 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender Conferences.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, August 8 and the Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, August 9.  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.  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 online registration deadline for the 2019 Defender Trial School, cosponsored by the School of Government and the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be June 25.  The event 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.

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR)‘s Youth in Custody Certificate Program will be held July 22 – 26 at Georgetown University in partnership with Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators.  This training is designed to help juvenile justice system leaders and partners improve outcomes for youth in custodial settings, covering critical areas including racial and ethnic disparities, family engagement, assessment, case planning, facility-based education and treatment services, reentry planning and support, and culture change.

New Resource

To commemorate the 52nd Anniversary of In re Gault this week, the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) is pleased to share a new resource, Making the Case for Young Clients: Supreme Court Quotes for Bolstering Juvenile Defense Advocacy.  Language shapes every defense.  And the United States Supreme Court has issued numerous opinions with language that supports the unique advocacy required for defending youth in juvenile delinquency proceedings.  From recognizing that youth are more susceptible to coercion during an interrogation to reinforcing the principle that youth are constitutionally different from adults, the Supreme Court has boldly delineated the rights and obligations due to young people.  This resource is filled with language from opinions spanning several decades and is accessible online here.

Also, please note that the application period for specialization in juvenile defense started on the 1st of this month and continues until July 2!  If you know someone or if you yourself are interested in specializing in the juvenile defense arena, please visit the N.C. State Bar Legal Specialization page.

That’s our wrap-up for this week.  Please make sure to subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already and head over to Twitter and Facebook, like and follow us!  Also, N.C. juvenile defenders, please contact us to be added to our listserv.  Have a great weekend.

OJD Week in Review: May 6 – 10

Another Happy Friday to everyone reading this!  This week there is the new tip, one new job opportunity with NCCRED, one new training date to announce and a couple of registration deadlines for upcoming events.

Tip of the Week – Should I Waive PC?

That depends.  As a general rule, you shouldn’t unless your client is receiving something in exchange for the waiver, such as an agreement not to transfer case, dismissal or reduction in the charges, or a specific disposition agreement.  If you think you have any chance at reducing or dismissing the charges during the proceeding, push to have the hearing.  But if, for example, your client is facing transfer to adult court, and the facts surrounding the case are especially unfavorable, you might want to consider waiving the hearing to reduce the impact of the bad facts on your client’s case for the transfer hearing– but never waive PC for a mandatory transfer case.

Job and Fellowship Opportunity

The North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System (NCCRED) has an opening for a new Executive Director.  The Executive Director will provide leadership and manage all aspects of the organization including, but not limited to, coordinating and filing reports, developing relationships with potential partners, promoting and developing research on racial disparities, and supervising interns and contract staff.  The ideal candidate will have a passion for racial justice, experience in criminal justice reform and all aspects of nonprofit organizational management, excellent communication skills and comfort with managing conflict.  Please find the full job description here.  To apply please submit resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to James E. Williams, Jr., by June 1, 2019.  Please include email subject line “NCCRED Director Position.”

NCCRED

The Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights (LCCR) is currently seeking applications for Mitigation Specialists in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to conduct mitigation investigations for Miller or Montgomery cases throughout the state.  The Mitigation Specialist will be responsible for the investigation and development of competent, thorough, and quality mitigation in accordance with statewide performance standards, the American Bar Association Guidelines, and national best practices.  The application deadline for both positions is May 17.  To apply, please check here to apply for the New Orleans position and here to apply for the Baton Rouge opening.

The Forsyth County Public Defender’s Office is currently seeking a new assistant public defender.  The selected candidate will represent indigent clients charged with misdemeanor criminal offenses and will be expected to analyze laws, facts, written documents, conduct legal research, develop litigation strategies.   For the full job description and to apply, please go here.

Training

The deadline to register for the Southern Juvenile Defender Center (SJDC)‘s Ninth Annual Regional Summit is Monday, May 13.  This year the Summit will be taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana, from June 7-8.  You’re invited to come together with your colleagues from across the Southern states to participate in this one-of-a-kind program.  If interested in attending, please register here.  CLE credits are pending.  For more information on lodging, the agenda, and fees, please visit the Eventbrite page here.  Also, for those of you interested in attending, SJDC has released the final agenda for the two-day event, which can be viewed here.

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Please save the dates for the 2019 Parent Attorney and Juvenile Defender Conferences.  The Parent Attorney Conference will be held Thursday, August 8 and the Juvenile Defender Conference will be held Friday, August 9.  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.  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 online registration deadline for the 2019 Defender Trial School, cosponsored by the School of Government and the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services, will be June 25.  The event 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.

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR)‘s Youth in Custody Certificate Program will be held July 22 – 26 at Georgetown University in partnership with Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators.  This training is designed to help juvenile justice system leaders and partners improve outcomes for youth in custodial settings, covering critical areas including racial and ethnic disparities, family engagement, assessment, case planning, facility-based education and treatment services, reentry planning and support, and culture change.

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From Around the Community

In honor of the 52nd anniversary of In re Gault, the Supreme Court decision that ultimately allowed children the right to counsel, the National Juvenile Defender Center will be hosting “The Story of (In)Justice” in at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, May 15.  The event will take place from 6 – 8 p.m. and will feature and honor Yusef Salaam, a community activist and Central Park Five exonoree,  and Sarah Burns, award-winning filmmaker and author of The Central Park Five.  To register and learn more about this event, please check the link here.

That’s it for this second week of May.  Please make sure to subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already and head over to Twitter and Facebook, like and follow us!  Also, N.C. juvenile defenders, please contact us to be added to our listserv.  Have a great weekend.

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.