Funds to be used for school’s Juvenile Life Without Parole Defense Resource Center
Contact: Jeremy Jones (305) 899-3195
Orlando, Fla. – The Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law announces receipt of a $100,000 grant from The Florida Bar Foundation to assist in the funding of the school’s new Juvenile Life Without Parole Defense Resource Center.
The Resource Center will coordinate the Florida response to the May 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Graham vs. Florida. That ruling stated that it is cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a defendant, who was a child at the time of the offense, to life without the possibility of parole upon a conviction of a non-homicide offense. With the funds from The Florida Bar Foundation, the Resource Center will address the individual needs of the juvenile clients as well as the broader public policy questions raised by the Graham decision.
“We are very excited about this partnership with The Florida Bar Foundation.With these funds, we can jump start this effort to help the courts and Florida remedy these illegal sentences and begin a discussion on what is an appropriate sanction for children who commit serious crimes,” says Gerard Glynn, director of Clinical Programs at Barry Law School.
Additionally, the Resource Center will serve as a clearing house for all cases subject to review under the Graham decision; staff will conduct legal research on the myriad of procedural and substantive legal issues; develop litigation strategies with defenders across the state; create an expert database; provide technical assistance and training; engage in public education efforts; coordinate with advocates across the country representing youth entitled to relief under the Graham decision; and provide direct client representation.
Students from Barry Law School and other schools will assist in these efforts under the supervision of Barry law professors. “We are honored that The Florida Bar Foundation has recognized our work regarding juvenile justice issues. This grant and collaboration will allow our Resource Center to tackle an important national issue that we hope will positively impact the lives of many juvenile offenders and their families,” says Barry Law School Dean Leticia Diaz.
While the Supreme Court identified only 129 juvenile non-homicide offenders in the country serving life without parole sentences, the Barry’s Juvenile Resource Center has found 115 in Florida alone. It is anticipated that the Resource Center project will last for two years with the primary goal being to ensure that all Florida youth affected by the Graham decision receive competent counsel resulting in fair sentences.
For more information, contact Glynn at 321-206-5750, or Nancy Kinnally from The Florida Bar Foundation at 407 843-0045, ext. 103
About The Florida Bar Foundation
The Florida Bar Foundation (www.floridabarfoundation.org) is a charitable organization established in 1956 by Florida lawyers and the Florida Supreme Court. Its mission is to provide greater access to justice through funding of programs that:
- Expand and improve representation and advocacy on behalf of low-income persons in civil legal matters
- Improve the fair and effective administration of justice
- Promote public service among lawyers by making it an integral component of the law school experience.
Principal support for the Foundation’s charitable activities comes from the Interest on Trust Accounts (IOTA) Program implemented by the Florida Supreme Court in 1981. Additional support comes from gifts by Florida attorneys, law firms, corporations, foundations and from other individuals.
About Barry Law School
Established in 1999, the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law offers a quality legal education in a caring, diverse environment. A Catholic-oriented institution, Barry Law School challenges students to accept intellectual, personal, ethical, spiritual, and social responsibilities, and commits itself to assuring an atmosphere of religious freedom. Barry Law School is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and has a current enrollment of more than 700 students from around the world.