Should minors get life? NEJCCC symposium considers Miller decision
(Boston, Revised-10/26/12) New England Law | Boston: “Juveniles are Different,” a New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement symposium on Friday, October 26, explored the sentencing of youths in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Miller v. Alabama decision, which ruled that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles are cruel and unusual and in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Hon. Mark Lawton gave the keynote address.
“Our featured panelists examined the legal and doctrinal challenges raised by the Court’s recent sentencing law decisions,” said journal editor-in-chief Samuel Mortimer ’13. “The scientific and medical evidence relating to juvenile development cited in those opinions, and the state litigation that will result from Miller’s pronouncement, were also explored.”
Panel I: “Youth Matters,” focused on the developmental stages of minors and the level of responsibility for actions that can be attributed to them. Panelists included Dan Birman, documentary film maker of “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story”
; Frank DiCataldo, assistant professor of psychology, Roger Williams University; and Kimberly Larson, assistant professor of psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School. New England Law Professor Tigran Eldred
The Honorable Mark E. Lawton, associate justice, (retired), Massachusetts Juvenile Court, and a New England Law adjunct professor, provided the keynote address.
Panel II: “Miller
and Its Aftermath,” delved into the Miller
opinion and the Court’s holding, as well as some of the litigation issues that will result from the Court’s pronouncement. Panelists included Jeffrey Fagan, professor of law, Columbia Law School; Meg Garvin, executive director, National Crime Victim Law Institute; Barbara Kaban, director of juvenile appeals, Massachusetts Youth Advocacy Division; and New England Law Professor David Siegel
, co-director of the Center for Law and Social Responsibility
. Professor Louis Schulze
The New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement is one of the nation’s top criminal law journals and the only specialty journal that specifically addresses civil confinement law.