Investigation and Li...

Investigation and Litigation Through the Lens of the Adolescent Brain

In recent years, scientific research into the developing adolescent brain and the behaviors and attributes of youth has driven a huge shift in the legal landscape for juveniles and young adults in criminal courts.  The US Supreme Court has handed down several landmark decisions impacting the sentencing of youth including Roper v. Simmons in 2005 (prohibiting the death penalty for juveniles), Graham v. Florida in 2010 (prohibiting a life sentence for a juvenile in a non-homicide crime), and Miller v. Alabama in 2012 (prohibiting mandatory life without parole).  In Washington State, the legislature has responded to these decisions with sweeping revisions to the felony sentencing statutes, RCW 9.94A and RCW 10.95.  Washington Courts have also decided several recent cases changing the approach to sentencing of youth and young adults, incorporating the science that underlies these US Supreme Court decisions.

The adolescent brain science underlying these significant changes is relevant beyond sentencing of youth and young adults.  This CLE will cover ways defenders can use this science when investigating their case, developing their trial theory, and in bringing pretrial motions, including strategies to challenge decline to adult court jurisdiction, challenges to criminal liability and/or the degree of culpability, motions to improve location and conditions of pretrial detention, motions to suppress evidence and confessions and more.

Presented by Cindy Arends Elsberry with WDA and Kathryn Russell Selk with Russell Selk Law Offices.

To register, email wda@defensenet.org with “Ad Brain” in the subject line. 1.0 Law and Legal credits have been requested to the WSBA for this webinar.