3 Burst results for "Juvenile Law Center Public Interest Law"
"juvenile law center public interest law" Discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
"His case he was he was given a multiple life sentences without the let's see if we can get marshawn Allen back on the phone here but Marsha Levick talk to me a little bit about a read the facts of marshawn case here I mean is that that's part of the the big picture that we have to look at that he did he someone who didn't even pull the trigger and but ended up with a life sentence without the possibility of parole at the age of fifteen that's life without parole under the exact same circumstances and his case highlights how we cannot think about these cases we cannot examine them through one lens everybody is different and that's precisely the point of the Courts decisions. Well let's see if we have Marshall Allen back on the line here marshawn are you with us from here okay thanks so much for joining us today in this discussion here you just tell us a little bit about when you were fifteen and you began serving your your life sentence without the possibility thirty of parole I mean take us back to that that moment in time who what what were you like what kind of person were you then at fifteen well at the age of fifteen have to step back and explain that I had an older brother who I looked up to who was involved in drug dealer and and I my my dad was using drugs and he wasn't around and my mom's brothers who actually introduced my brother to selling drugs they were actually the only male role models I had around so those were the people I was looking up to so growing up in environment and I just didn't my community but also the family household where selling drugs and was was acceptable You know it played a very very impressionable role in my life but I was a youth I was in high school I was very into fixing things with my hands and working on cars and things like that I wasn't a bad kid I 'cause I got into trouble like every kid does when they're especially boys get into trouble when at age but I was not at that point I had never been charged or convicted or a comedian he acts of violence when my case happened and circumstances will be happening was as you know his his drug deal that went bad individuals head of came to buy large amount of drugs from my brother and and putting a gun to my head and forcing me to take them to the apartment when my brother was a hit his drugs and money well he's business from and especially on the ground and they out that he made the drug do they actually kidnapped me and made me take them back to the location where he had picked him up and so is the situation it'll add to it my role in a crime was still in the vehicle that was used and and that came about with me being a teenager I was really into cars I love cars I love driving him fixing on them and everything so I learned at a very young age how to drive and actually was still cards from like of individuals in my neighborhood Masan if I can just interrupt here we've just got a minute before I have to let you go here you were released in two thousand sixteen you served twenty five years right and now you you manage an advocacy group called the Restore Justice Foundation. I mean just a minute we have before I have to let you go here what do you you think your experience what lessons should should we draw from your experience about how we ought to be looking at at questions of juvenile sentencing well as Marcia said in that science says that you ju are different than we do change that we shouldn't be have this sentence Espn impose on every that should be individual consideration that should be made before citizens I made in there shouldn't be as we you say that there is no no crystal ball for the election no at the time we'll send the scene how individuals WanNa turn out so there there should be some mechanism in place in in place where a youth can be read review ten years and with instant sentenced to decide where he's at whether or not he's been rehabilitate it can be safely released to society we shouldn't just be categorically finishing youth without parole without giving them a chance to themselves well marshawn Allen he is a man he manages the advocacy and out at an outreach for the restored Justice Foundation and is a board member of the campaign for the fair sentencing of youth joining us from Chicago go marshawn thank you so very much and Marsha Levick Sam by here for just a moment we have to take a quick break this is point this is on point I'm Meghna Chakrabarti we're talking with Marshall Levick she is chief counsel and founder of the Juvenile Law Center Public Interest Law firm that's been advocating for children's rights since nineteen seventy five we're talking with Marsha because this week the supreme court heard another case that as asking the court to reassess sentencing for juveniles who commit needed murder and Marsha let me ask you I mean you have been deeply involved in this work since nineteen seventy five it seems as if in the past enter fifteen years we've been seeing a kind of rapid pace of change in how the courts are looking at juvenile cases like this even the most extreme ones because I mean wasn't it just in the in the nineties where one of the prevailing theories about juvenile offenders was that of incorrigible superpredators. Yes yeah and I'm glad that US question When I think about the trajectory of my work and the work of my colleagues in this field the cases the the recent cases decided by the US Supreme Court in the last fifteen years I think are very much a response to what happened is a consequence of what we now was the Super Predator myth of the nine hundred ninety this notion that we were coming upon generation of violent teenagers who terrorize our neighborhoods that proved to be false else but before it was recanted by the scientists who came up with it we saw hundreds of thousands of children being tried as adults in the criminal justice system the numbers at some points during the nineteen nineties whereas highest two hundred thousand children a year were being charged as adults and what that meant was is that as they pass through that system if they were convicted they were subject to the full brunt of adults sentencing that included of course the death penalty in some states and it included life without parole or very very long term of your sentences and so when the Supreme Court was finally when they made the decision to reexamine the constitution nowadays the death penalty in two thousand five I think it was very much in part in response to the concern that we had so many youth in this country being convicted and sentenced as adults and also the coincidental emergence of science that had come out really beginning a research net were convened by the Macarthur Foundation in the late in the mid nineteen ninety s that research began to make its way into both the academic conversations As well as I think the public discourse and of course as I said was very foundational on the Supreme Court's decision and so as you you know you you kind of have this comment where you had hundreds of thousands of youth in the criminal justice system and very compelling research that they were different that they were less blameworthy and Enj- those I think those things coming together really did lead to I think what is fair to say revolution in sentencing juveniles in this country yes there's they wanna come back to you with you Marsha because I wondering how should we be looking at at the issue of culpability the question of culpability and here's here's why I ask because I mean you said earlier that there is a deep streak in the American criminal justice system that is is punitive right and so I wonder that's for a reason and bear with me here as I walked through this thought experiment okay because you know for example in case his of sexual assault in college. Now we're not talking about minors here we're talking about college students but I've heard frequently people say well look lots of lots of college students get drunk but even in their inebriated states most of them don't sexually assault people is that I mean that that's an interesting analogy to me because it should the same question be asked of youth offenders that that most seventeen-year-old most sixteen years most fifteen-year-olds even with their developing being brains they don't commit these terrible crimes so shouldn't shouldn't punish there's a reason why punishment is part of the criminal justice system even for juvenile else yes and I don't think that we can ignore the role that punishment plays the role of holding people accountable for what they do is certainly a lament I think of any justice system but I think that the the fact that not everyone does it is not a reason to throw out those or throw away those who do because this is you of culpability is also relevant to our concern I think a constitutional concern for proportionality ensuring that when we do in fact punish people and hold them account double we do it in ways that are proportionate to their culpability for the crimes that they commit so I think we have to focus on those who get caught up in the justice system not those who don't and what we know about these individuals is that again as as youth is adolescence their ability to make mature decisions to make good decisions is poor they are impulsive there impetuous and it would be wrong I think is a matter of constitutional law I really think that's what the US Supreme Court has said in this a series of the last three decisions on sentencing that we simply cannot as a matter of constitutional law treat in the same as we would adults because levels of culpability are less and their levels of maturity and judgment are less and it is very much about as I as I said this concern for proportionality and this comes directly out of how we think about our eighth amendment ban on Kroll unusual punishment Well let's go to Gary Calling from Montgomery Alabama Gary you're on the air thanks for taking me call I'm retired law enforcement of the city of Montgomery actually responded Wanda DC sniper scenes when they pass through Montgomery we're not born human beings we learn how to be a human being and when the child is raising an atmosphere that's inhumane then that's what they know and it's such a young age they don't have the opportunity to control their impulse behavior so if he's sentenced to life in prison and hostile environment they were Steve WHO's calling from New Orleans Steve you're on the air thanks for taking my call when I was eleven years old the person who is still in jail for the crime has the possibility of coming up with role now because of the change in the I mean we received death threats call to my house after the crime saying that if we testified they would come after us dear Steve I'm so sorry to have to interrupt you there is running out of time but thank you so much for your call and for sharing what happened to to how would you respond to both Gary and Steve Well I think they both present very real and important perspectives on what we're talking about And and I think to Gary Point I appreciate his understanding from the position where he is that precisely the kinds of issues that he raised the family background how someone that he and his family experienced but I can say to Steve that Since Miller and Montgomery came down we have had hundreds of men and women released like marshawn individuals who have come back to their communities who are giving back who are many of them working in advocacy or social so to the concern can we manage them coming back into our communities I say yes because I think we're seeing play out in real time every day right now across the country Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings died early this morning in Baltimore he was sixty this is on point.
"juvenile law center public interest law" Discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
"Of the Ted Radio Hour from NPR on our latest episode were exploring anger what it is when you feel it whether some get to feel it more openly than others and why listen now this is on point I'm Meghna Chakrabarti we're talking this hour about the case of Lee Boyd Malveaux he was one of the DC snipers back in two thousand and two he was seventeen at the time when he received multiple life sentences for those murders his case now before the United States Supreme Court where he is asking for a reassessment or a chance at another sentencing hearing because the core Shen is what constitutes justice in these cases of juveniles convicted of murder should they ever be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole well I'm joined today by Marshall Levick she's chief counsel and founder of the Juvenile Law Center Public Interest Law firm that's been advocating for children's rights since nineteen seventy five and she's been a a key legal voice in several of the other cases at least one of the other cases that has previously appeared before the court on these matters so let's go quickly to the phones let's go to Sean calling from Charleston South Carolina Hello I just wanted to say I I work in the correction system around seventeen years on a regular basis and before I did that I would have the view that she has or a lot of people have they shouldn't have life sentences but haven't been exposed to them on a regular basis they're they're young men they're not children are boys anymore they're very very mature they're very aware of the crimes that they commit in the situations that they put themselves in a lot of them frankly are proud of the things that they do I just I absolutely feel that they're they're old enough they know what they're doing they're making the choices that they are and there will be willing to accept the complex the the consequences that come with it and they're they're okay with it frankly I mean it's it's it doesn't even seem to fade as them you know when they're looking at fifteen or twenty years we tell whenever it's fifteen or twenty but you know I've done so much here and I'll do half their day it'll be out like ten eight and the being ballroom at seventy well Sean thank you so much for your call and your perspective there and Marsha Levick I'm just want to piggyback off Shawn's observation here and wind back the clock back to that two thousand twelve Miller v Alabama case that appeared before the court that upheld that mandatory life senses without the possibility of parole for juveniles was unconstitutional and Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion in that case and here's a clip from what I read from the bench in June of two thousand twelve think of the worst possible seventeen year old murderer perhaps a seventy in your old who previously was convicted of several murders was tried in family court and has resisted any attempt at rehabilitation where think of the seventeen year old a seventeen and a half year old perhaps who goes to school and guns down a dozen or more teachers and students the opinion the court delicately refers to all murderers under the magic age of eighteen as children and holds every single one of these children must given a chance to persuade judge to impose a lesser sentence Justice Samuel Alito in two thousand twelve? Marshall isn't as as you said this is one of the core question like is there a magic age here does it have to be in the justice system well I think that let let me just take a moment respond though to the to the issues that were raised by the caller and even by Justice Alito comments because I think that focusing on how someone behaves if the agent seventeen what we observe about at the age of seventeen is actually precisely the point of these cases and that is that how the appeared seventeen is not at all and not necessary early who they will be twenty five thirty five forty five fifty five years old and it is impossible to ignore the science whether it's the neuroscience the social science that really conclusively establishes this capacity for Change and to the concern that someone has committed a horrible crime at the age of seventeen we should never contemplate letting them out we need to keep in mind that when we talk about providing this opportunity to be eligible for parole it is not a ticket out of jail that at that moment when someone goes before the Parole Board the Parole Board has to ask itself questions and frankly ask that individual wins that will go to whether or not they have matured whether or not they have accepted the consequences whether or not they have demonstrated rehabilitation whether or not they are able and ready to return to their communities in many instances that won't happen that's precisely what Justice Kennedy recognized in his two thousand ten decision prohibiting without parole and non homicide cases we all understand in this space that many of these young men and women won't get out of prison even as they go before a parole board but we Augmon for the scientific recognition the scientific finding about this capacity for change and as we think about as I said sort of you know what is this search tell us going forward it does raise questions that I think we need to be having a conversation about that it's probably not a magic boundary at eighteen that the same aspects of immaturity the characteristics of maturity that we see in youth under the age of eighteen they often carry forward many individuals past the age of eighteen and certainly brain development continues and as we contemplate again as you as you said at the opening of the segment contemplate what does justice mean what is the purpose of our justice system we need to be thinking about again where research might take us as we try to ensure that we are serving justice so let me ask you Marcia I mean what do you think justice means in these cases because I mean by definition yes I mean neuroscience this showing us the the youth brain not only has the capacity for change it changes dramatically but if we're speaking of justice writ large I mean isn't the conclusion that that everyone does have regardless of age everyone does have the capacity to change and if so what does what does that mean for the hire process or or act of sentencing in in these most terrible crimes well I think that the capacity for changes different and so we know that capacity for change among young people again let's say individuals under the age of twenty five in most strongly individuals under the age of eighteen that's a that's a capacity for change that is especially dynamic that the kinds of judgments and decisions that they make think about ourselves as teenagers if my daughter's teenagers not so long ago the kinds of judgments that young people make appear in the moment they will say sometimes I know exactly what doing so it can appear as if there is some thoughtfulness behind the decisions that they make but we know that there isn't and so I think that this while yes it's true everyone can change and I think we want to believe that everyone can change as we grow older ourselves as we examine ourselves we may want to change aspects parts of ourselves even so but I think that we're we're talking a little bit about apples and oranges and when we think about the the possibility for rehabilitation Asian and real transformation of character that that is something that really is unique to a particular segment of the population it's the young population in this country let's go to Christine who's calling from Buffalo New York Christine you're on the Air Hi thank you for taking my call I was actually a freshman at George Washington University the network has happened and to this day I'm still afraid of white conversion man so I just think I'm so glad that you were talking about this topic because I I'm from New York we just had the raise the age past and I think a really important distinction is the difference between violent and nonviolent crimes and how I think it's a really slippery slope when you start opening the idea of changing you know mandatory life sentences for violent crimes because then it kind of opens the door for everything and you know it's not like some kid that was in jail the drug offence or a you know robbery or something like that that was not violent like this was calculated murder of multiple people and he terrorized the city and I think you can't like like your guest saying apples to oranges you can't compare These type of calculated island crimes like a non violent crime will Christine thank you so much for your call Marsh Likud like to respond to Christine sure let me say first of all I have certainly many friends who were in DC in two thousand when who are still there and I I understand completely appreciate the fear not only that you and your friends and family members felt them but of course what people continue to caller remember about that time but I think that the Supreme Court went it really rolled in Miller striking mandatory life without parole sentences what Justice Kennedy sorry which this Kagan said was that that there was no reason to treat the science differently though scientific findings differently with respect to individuals who commit violent crimes nonviolent crimes and while I think that we live in a culture that is highly retributive we think about again this question what is justice many of us in this country think about justices really being about punishment and revenge and when something horrible happens we want to do something horrible in return but I think that is we volve honest we think about what our values should be certainly from my perspective I think that our values need to include for certain populations not only consideration for retribution but also again this opportunity for rehabilitation this opportunity for second chances and to recall again I think that we it's it's wrong to inflate the idea of eliminating life without parole sentences that prohibit someone from ever getting out of prison from giving them an opportunity to be to be considered for release because as I said many of those individuals won't get relief many of those individuals who committed perhaps the most brutal the most heinous violent crimes may never be candidates for release but but we cannot know that when they're seventeen or sixteen or fifteen and two I believe to to meet this goal of justice in our society we need to be willing to reexamine those individuals said a later point in time the thing about cases like Malveaux says is that it brings these core questions about what is justice regarding juvenile and murdering people from you know as snipers so yes in in ability of parole but the bigger picture also is that other youth offenders get similar sentences for very different kinds of crimes right so so let me turn now to Marshawn Allen who joins us from Chicago Illinois because he when he was fifteen years old he was sentenced to life without parole he was involved in a drug deal and robbery that ended in a man being killed marshawn Allen didn't pull the trigger but he was charged with two counts of fifteen a first degree murder ended up being released in two thousand sixteen after serving twenty five years because of one of the Supreme Court's decisions the Miller v Alabam Emma decision so marshawn ellen welcome to you can you hear me precisely right and I think that your comments really underscored this principle that the exception can't make the role and it is hard to have a conversation about a more generous or lenient view of sentencing of adolescents teenagers who commit even homicide crimes and about it in the context of Lee Boyd Malvo which is which is a horrific incident that we hope will never be repeated I think in Martians case there are many individuals across the country just like him who did not pull the trigger who might have been present at the time when a crime was committed in the course of that crime and the victim died at somebody else's hands they were sentenced identically to the individual who was directly responsible for that murder and that is an enormous travesty of justice that goes on every Day in my state of Pennsylvania we many individuals who were sentenced to life without parole mandatory sentences of.
"juvenile law center public interest law" Discussed on On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Podcasts
"At on point radio well joining us today to talk about this is Marshall Levick she's with us from Philadelphia Pennsylvania she's chief counts aw and founder of the Juvenile Law Center Public Interest Law Firm advocating for children's rights and as I said she founded it in nineteen seventy five making it one the oldest continuously operating juvenile law center's in the country Marshall Levick welcome to on point thank you so much thank you for having me so you have been involved in sort of the nation's reassessment of juvenile sentencing for a long long time this is the third time in recent years that the Supreme Court has heard case of on life sentences for juveniles. How significant is this latest hearing I think it's significant you know what we've seen over the course of the last fifteen years if we think back to the first juvenile sentencing case in which the US Supreme Court struck the juvenile death penalty actually just a couple of years after the DC sniper situation in two thousand five the court has really up ended how we think about juvenile sentencing and has struck the most severe sentencing practices including the death penalty mandatory life without parole sentences this particular case is focused of course on Malveaux sentence he did Ziva life without parole sentence Through the Virginia court system and the question before the court is both narrow and potentially broad narrow in the sense that it's very specific declined about what he is entitled to as a consequence of the Supreme Court sentencing decisions and I think looking forward certainly could have some implications for our sentencing assist the future okay so let's talk a little more specifically about this Malveaux case here because as far as I understood two of the previous cases that the court had heard in two thousand twelve in Miller v Alabama and then in two thousand Sixteen Montgomery versus Louisiana which you were co-counsel on the those two cases had actually ended the mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for juveniles and also applied at retroactively what is Malveaux specifically asking the court hasn't already granted Samatha is asking to be resentenced of course under Miller and the issues specifically in his case is whether or not he received a discretionary life without parole sentence or a mandatory life without parole sentence to individuals in the Miller case for the Supreme Court in two thousand twelve both had received mandatory life without parole sentences but I think one of the most telling moments in the argument yesterday before the US in court was when Justice Kagan so eloquently reduced the Miller decision she said to just two words and that was that youth matters and so I think the court is really being asked to address here not not so much the breadth of what Miller Montgomery were about but really what was the meaning of the decision Chen and whether we're simply focused on mandatory sentencing or if in fact we're concerned with ensuring that when we cents any youth to essentially you're sentenced to die in prison that we are appropriately considering the characteristics and attributes of youth okay in I'll get back to this youth matters statement from Justice Kagan in just a moment but regarding Mr Malveaux though again just to get our facts straight here in the event that the court designed decides in his favor if it doesn't mean that he would automatically receive parole right he serving concurrent life sentences and what would the impact on him specifically be yes question and an important question Malveaux is probably never going to be released from prison he's not only serving life sentences in Virginia he's also serving sentences for caller homicides that occurred in Merrill Lynch and other places so he's he's not going to be released I think it's fair to say that's a remote very remote possibility but the principle of establishing that even someone like Malveaux the whole point of these juvenile sentencing cases before the US Supreme Court is that they all dealt with individuals who committed homicide young people who committed homicide and the court has really tried to articulate a different paradigm for juvenile sentencing so even someone unlike Malveaux should be entitled to the consideration about whether or not whether or not he might someday be eligible for parole but in his particular case no he's not find to be released okay well let's listen back to what Lee Malvo Lee Boyd Malveaux himself said in two thousand twelve the Washington Post interviewed him from jail and he reflected on the person he was when he committed those really terrible murders in the DC sniper case and what happened on send the role I played I understand what happens you need and I understand the lead Malveaux in two thousand twelve and a Washington Post interview now far more recently Paul the Laura a surviving victim of Malveaux he once said that he thought that Lee Malveaux should get the death penalty but he just recently told NPR's Nina Berg that he supports Malveaux getting a second chance now at sentencing I'm more interested in not Lee Boyd Malvo as as the individual but in the many many other people who did things less heinous than him that will sentenced to life without parole when they were fifteen sixteen years old what's Paul Larosa a victim of leave out Lee Boyd Malvo Marshall Levick tell me a little bit more about what here in the question or the statement of Justice Elena Kagan when she says youth matters what does that specifically mean in the content ext of juveniles who've been convicted of murder when the Supreme Court struck mandatory sentences life without parole sentences and Miller in two thousand twelve Justice Kagan wrote that opinion and she included in her opinion a series of factors elements or attributes of adolescence and youth that were in her view required to a minimum be considered by sentences going forward by judges or juries imposing these sentences and those obviously included issues of agent maturity their family background their capacity to participate in their defense to understand the criminal justice system and most importantly of course their capacity for ancien rehabilitation and so I think that justice Kagan was really reminding all of us sitting there in the courtroom that these sentencing cases they're in part about specific sentence that has now been prohibited under our constitutional prohibition on chrome unusual punishment but they're also Virement they really impose an obligation on all of us to think differently about youth who commit even the most serious crimes and trying to really fashion a sentencing structure as sentencing approach that I think as Paul said that really is recognizing the opportunity for second chances for this poppulation again because of their capacity to change but you also heard yesterday Justice Cavanaugh asking a question apparently he was quite active from the bench yesterday and act and asking his questions when he said that the previous Supreme Court rulings required just judges to distinguish quote between I'm one who merely immature as opposed to incorrigible when he make them that well I I want to confirm sitting there in the courtroom yesterday he was the most active questioner I would say and I think that his questions appear to reflect a very genuine curiosity and interest and struggled to determine exactly what not only Miller and Montgomery represented but also how we should interpret and apply those cases going forward and I think that again in the way the Justice Kagan was able to reduce Miller two two words I think he also in many respects summed up what those holdings were out that they were about imposing on the sentence or this obligation to distinguish between the merely immature and the permanently incorrigible and if we if we NCA- about what that means in real terms it certainly suggests that we have to do more than simply say we can't impose a mandatory sentence on you it does suggest that there needs to be some some recognition some consideration some conversation about about the use immature forty or not the youths permanent incorrigible or not before we can impose these finite sentences on youth now this question of permanent incorrigible -bility I mean our our understanding of the teenage brain has changed quite a lot in the past couple of decades here I mean is that what's playing enroll in this slow reassessment that we've been seeing of juvenile sentencing even in the most heinous crimes. Yes there's no question but that Even when the Supreme Court struck the juvenile death penalty in two thousand five that the research was front and center in that decision the current scientific research that in two thousand five really highlighted through a social science frame the developmental differences differences this maturity versus immaturity differences between lean children adolescents and adults since two thousand five of course that social science research has really been buttressed in bolstered by Nora Science and we do now all have some appreciation certainly that the adolescent brain the child's brain continues to develop into the early twenties and I thought in your opening legitimate conversation going on about.