December 26, 2011
Update on my latest thinking on juve LWOP amicus project
I continue to enjoy and learn from reading and re-reading the seven juve LWOP amicus brief efforts sent my way. And the more I think about what might be most useful to say to the Court, the more I am finding myself drawn to the idea that the mandatory nature of the LWOP sentences in Jackson and Miller are what make them especially constitutionally problematic given both the young age of the defendants and the (many?) other mitigating factors involved in the murderers for which they were convicted.
A number of the draft briefs (though not all) focus in whole or in part on assailing the mandatory nature of the LWOP sentences in Jackson and Miller. And even the drafts that do not have this particular focus still have at least a few passages that could be incorporated into a brief with that focus. Consequently, I am thinking/planning in the next few days to take a stab at assembling sections/passages from all the drafts I now have in hand to make a "mega-draft" with the focus on the mandatory nature of the LWOP sentences.
This plan should not preclude (or even slow down) those folks who have not yet completed a full draft brief from getting me a full draft, and it also should not preclude (or even slow down) those folks with a full draft from coming to talk with me about how to refine their full draft for possible SCOTUS filing. But this plan should allow those of you eager now to work collectively on something of a "class" brief to know that, within the next few days, you can review a "mega-draft" that may become the focus of our collective briefing activities over the next few weeks if there is continued student interest in completing and filing a "top-flight" amicus brief.
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