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    • Brief

    McCallum v. Italy

    Amicus Curiae to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights.

    Argument: Article 3 of the ECHR absolutely prohibits the infliction of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In a series of major decisions since 2013, the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR has spelt out the criteria according to which sentences of life imprisonment must be implemented to ensure that Article 3 is not infringed. If life sentences meet these criteria, they can be imposed and implemented consistently with Article 3. Article 3 also governs extradition from member states. When a member state receives an extradition request, it has a duty to assess prospectively whether allowing extradition may result in a life sentence in the requesting state that would infringe Article 3, as interpreted by the ECtHR. This does not impose a burden on a non-member state seeking extradition, but on the member state from which extradition is sought. Such member state must ensure that its actions in allowing extradition do not foreseeably result in the Article 3 rights of a person in its jurisdiction later being infringed by a non-member state. The amici curiae submit in this intervention that the criteria developed by the ECtHR in respect of life imprisonment should be applied when deciding whether Italy is justified in extraditing McCallum to stand trial in Michigan, where she will be sentenced mandatorily to Life Without Parole (LWOP) if she is convicted of first-degree murder.

    • Brief

    League of Women Voters v. Boockvar

    Brief for National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners.

    Argument: The dramatic impact that Marsy’s Law would have on Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system is not mere speculation. Other states have adopted nearly identically vague and broad constitutional amendments, which have resulted in substantial harm not only to criminal defendants, but also to the administration of the criminal justice system. This amicus brief summarizes the substantial burdens that Marsy’s Law has imposed in other states where it has gone into effect. The right “to reasonable and timely notice of and to be present at all public proceedings involving the criminal or delinquent conduct” has cost counties and states millions of dollars and congested court dockets. Marsy’s Law states have struggled to deal with the financial impact of the notice provision. The docket congestion caused by the notice provision has caused intolerable delays in proceedings. The right “to reasonable protection from the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused” has led to absurd results in pretrial release decisions. The right to “full and timely restitution” will take money from the courts. The codification of “respect for the victim’s…privacy” and the right “to reasonable protection from the accused” has made it more difficult for law enforcement to solve crimes and left the public lacking critical information about criminal activity.