Amy Halbrook

The Supreme Court of Kentucky heard a death-penalty case in mid-September in which Professor Amy Halbrook wrote an amicus curiae brief, with research help from students in the Chase Children’s Law Center Clinic.

At issue was whether a ban on the death penalty for juveniles should apply to late-teenagers, as well. The brief, submitted last year on behalf of the National Association for Public Defense and the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, argued it should. It contended that 18- through 20-year-olds have distinct legal and cultural statuses, are developmentally different from individuals 21 and older, and that an exemption is appropriate because the death penalty is infrequently administered in that age range and serves no legitimate penological goal.