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Caballero Brief 10 28 11 JLC Final

Caballero Brief 10 28 11 JLC Final

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Published by: Disability Rights Legal Center on Oct 31, 2011
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10/31/2011

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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OFCALIFORNIA,Plaintiff and Respondent,v.RODRIGO CABALLERO,Defendant and Appellant.Case No. S1906472nd Appellate DistrictDivision 4Case No. B217709Los Angeles Superior CourtCase No. MA043902The Honorable Hayden Zacky, Judge
BRIEF OF JUVENILE LAW CENTER, HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES,HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL CENTER FOR LAWAND POLICY, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSEATTORNEYS, AND THE DISABILITY RIGHTS LEGAL CENTER AS
 AMICI CURIAE
ON BEHALF OF APPELLANT
Constance de la Vega, Esq. (SBN 85199)Kyra Millich, Esq. (SBN 215063)Frank C. Newman International Human RightsLaw ClinicUniversity of San Francisco School of Law2130 Fulton StreetSan Francisco, CA 94117(415) 422-2296delavega@usfca.eduJessica R. Feierman, Esq. (SBN 2177664)Juvenile Law Center1315 Walnut Street, 4
th
FloorPhiladelphia, PA 19107(215) 625-0551(215) 625-2808 (fax) jfeierman@jlc.orgMaureen Pacheco, Esq. (SBN 127132)Center for Juvenile Law and Policy919 Albany St.Los Angeles, CA 90015213.736-8314Maureen.pacheco@lls.eduElizabeth M. Calvin, Esq. (SBN 241815)Senior AdvocateChildren's Rights DivisionHuman Rights Watch11500 W. Olympic Blvd. #441Los Angeles, CA 90064Tel 310.477.5540ecalvin@hrw.orgPaula Pearlman, Esq. (SBN 109038)Shawna Parks, Esq. (SBN 208301)Disability Rights Legal Center800 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 1120Los Angeles, CA 90017213-252-7406Paula.Pearlman@lls.eduShawna.Parks@lls.edu
Attorneys for
 Amici Curiae
 
 
i
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
……………………………………
..
……………….
ivINTRODUCTION
……………………
.
…………………………………
...............1PROCEDURAL HISTORY
…………
.
……………………………………...
.........2STANDARD OF REVIEW
…………………
...
………………………...
................2ARGUMENT
……………………………………………………………..………..
2I.
 
A Sentence That Is The Functional Equivalent Of Life Without Parole ForA Juvenile Who Was Convicted of Non-Homicide Offenses Is
Unconstitutional…………………………………………………………….
2A.
 
Caballero’s 110 Year Sentence
For A Non-Homicide Offense IsUnconstitutional As It Serves No Legitimate Penological Purpose.........3B.
 
Caballero’s Sentence Is Unconstitutionally Disproportionate In Light
Of 
His Age…………………....……………………………………………
.61.
 
The Eighth Amendment Requires That Sentences BeProportionate
…………………………..……………………….
..62.
 
State Proportionality Assessments Require Courts To ConsiderThe Individual Characteristics Of The Offender
………………..8
 3.
 
The Eighth Amendment Requires A Separate ProportionalityAnalysis For Children And Adolescents
…………………
.........10a.
 
Children’s Developmental Differences
Are Salient To TheEighth Amendment Analysis Whenever Children ReceiveA Sentence Designed for Adults
………………...
......11b.
 
Courts Must Consider Mitigating CircumstancesWhenever A Child Receives a Harsh AdultSentence
……………………………………………….
13
i. The Supreme Court Has HistoricallyConsidered Mitigating Factors In DeathPenalty Cases
………………………………..
13
 
ii
ii. When Sentencing A Child To An Adult Sentence,Courts Must Always Look to MitigatingFactors, Even In Non-Death Penalty Cases
14C.
 
Where There Is Evidence Of A Mental, Educational Or CognitiveDisability, Courts Must Consider The Disability As A Mitigating Factor
………………………………………………………............................17
 1.
 
Caballero Suffered From Significant Mental Illness WhichImpacted The Fairness Of The Proceedings And TheConstitutionality Of The Sentence Imposed
…………………..17
 2.
 
The Attributes of Serious Mental Disabilities Provide StrongEvidence of Diminished Culpability and Blameworthiness.......203.
 
Youth With Disabilities Are More Vulnerable And More
Susceptible To Unjust Proceedings And Sentences………...….22
 4.
 
The Court Failed To Take Caballero’s Mental Illness I
nto
Account At Trial And At Sentencing ……………………..…...23
 D.
 
Mandatory Sentences T
hat Preclude Individualized Determinations “
AtT
he Outset”
Are Disproportionate Pursuant To
Graham
………...…...
24II.
 
International Practice And Opinion And Treaty Obligations SupportHolding Life Sentences For Juveniles Unconstitutional
………………
.....26A.
 
International Practice And Opinion Has Been A Part Of EighthAmendment Analysis By The United States Supreme Courts For
Decades …………….…………………………………………………
27B.
 
International Practice And Opinion Are Relevant To A DeterminationOf Whether A Sentence Is Cruel And Unusual Under The United StatesConstitution
…………………..………………………………………
..31C.
 
The Imposition Of A 110 Years To Life Sentence On A JuvenileOffender Violates United States Treaty Obligations
…………………
34
CONCLUSION ………………………………………………………………...
...39CERTIFICATE OF WORD COUNT
…………………………………
...
…...
.......42

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