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PA Juvenile Law Update

Posted on May 24th, 2013

Juvenile Penalties in Chester County PA

A new decision by the United State Supreme Court will likely impact how juvenile convicted of serious offense are “adjudicated” or judged by a Juvenile Judge in Chester County and throughout Pennsylvania.

The decision also revisits the fragile balance that often exists in Pennsylvania Juvenile Law regarding the rehabilitation of a juvenile or minor and harsh punishment.  Need help, need legal advice and representation from our West Chester PA based aggressive and experienced juvenile practice at Ciccarelli Law Offices, Contact us by EMAIL or call us at (610) 692-8700 or (877) 529-2422.

Pennsylvania Juvenile Penalty Overruled By US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court recently struck down Pennsylvania Juvenile laws that would require juveniles convicted of homicide to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  The ruling found that it is Unconstitutional for a state such as Pennsylvania to have mandatory sentencing laws for juveniles as it is in violation of the the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

Pennsylvania has 480 juvenile lifers behind bars. This accounts for nearly 20 percent of the nearly 2,500 juveniles serving life sentences in the United States.  The decision by the US Supreme Court impacting juveniles and minors reopens the debate over how juveniles should be treated differently from adults in the criminal justice system versus the rights of the victims of their crimes.

Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings Pennsylvania legislators were quick to condemn the decision and were intent on proposing new laws to insure that juveniles found guilty of serious crimes such as murder would be severely punished.  A bill sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Stewart Greenleaf, R-12, Willow Grove, would allow the possibility of parole for juveniles who have committed second degree murder. “My legislation is only intended to provide the optional sentence for offenders who were under 18 when the crime was committed, did not kill the victim, and who did not contemplate that the victim would be killed,” he said.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Joseph Preston, D-24, Pittsburgh, would offer the possibility of resentencing to juvenile offenders sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.

Juvenile Representation for your Family

At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Pennsylvania Juvenile lawyers are both passionate in what they do and compassionate in their treatment of their minor and underage clients facing juvenile charges, juvenile arrest, juvenile detention and juvenile probation. You deserve a Pennsylvania Juvenile lawyer that is available when you need him, treats you with respect, and protects your rights vigorously.

Based in suburban Philadelphia at 304 North High Street, West Chester PA 19380, we make your choice all the clearer with locations throughout the metropolitan Philadelphia Pennsylvania, including Center City Philadelphia, West Chester PA, Malvern (serving Downingtown/Exton PA), Kennett Square PA, Lancaster PA, King of Prussia PA, Plymouth Meeting PA, Radnor and Springfield PA.

We serve Downingtown, Paoli, Media, Norristown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading and Allentown. For more information or to schedule an appointment by contacting us at (610)  692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422.