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Florida State's Public Interest Law Center Receives National Award for Work on Children in Prison

Glass Professor of Public Interest Law Paolo Annino

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida State University College of Law Public Interest Law Center (PILC) has received the American College of Trial Lawyers’ 2013 Emil Gumpert Award. The award recognizes programs whose principal purpose is to maintain and improve the administration of justice. The $50,000 grant-funded prize associated with the award will support PILC’s Children in Prison Project (CIPP), which advocates for children in the adult prison system. The grant will directly fund the CIPP’s new Miller Resentencing Project, which follows on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court Miller decision that mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole in homicide cases are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. The new project represents defendants in resentencing cases, recruits pro bono attorneys and trains law students to advocate on behalf of children who, under Miller, have the hope of reduction of sentence and release. There are approximately 200 juveniles in Florida who have the right to be resentenced and who could benefit from legal representation through the Miller Resentencing Project.

“We started the Children in Prison Project in 1997 in response to the wave of Florida children being swept into the adult criminal system, where they have been subjected to such extreme sentences as mandatory life without parole,” said Glass Professor of Public Interest Law Paolo Annino, who directs the Children in Prison Project. “The funding from the Emil Gumpert Award will be critical to our efforts to get justice for children who have been condemned to die in prison.”

U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the area of juvenile sentencing have repeatedly cited studies by Annino and others at Florida State’s Public Interest Law Center.

March 2013