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Brooke McCarthy

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Brooke McCarthy

Brooke McCarthy

Name of Host Organization: Juvenile Law Center
City, State: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue area: Children/Youth
Sponsors: Friends & Family of Philip M. Stern

The Project

Provide litigation support in Pennsylvania juvenile life without parole resentencings and track outcomes to ensure juvenile lifers are fairly resentenced with the best chances for parole eligibility.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Pennsylvania has over 500 juveniles serving unconstitutional mandatory life without parole sentences. They now need resentencing considering their lesser culpability, adolescent brain development, and capacity for rehabilitation. Resentencing hearings present an opportunity to employ cutting-edge litigation techniques and scientific developments if the resources can be disseminated.
The Right Person For This Project
Brooke is the right person for the project because:
• She was the lead attorney on several juvenile lifer resentencings in MS, successfully settling half a dozen cases that allowed her clients to be immediately eligible for parole
• She also has experience in death penalty investigations, anti-solitary confinement work, conditions of confinement for juveniles and adults, and access to quality mental healthcare for children
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship
In the first six months, Brooke will:
• Ensure every juvenile lifer facing resentencing is represented by qualified and passionate counsel
• Contact counsel to determine expected support needs and to connect them with resources across the state
• Track outcomes and dispositive data points for each case as it proceeds through resentencing
• Connect existing community resources with one another and foster a larger network of those advocating against juvenile life without parole