Appeals Update #5 — The Appeals Court Approves 2 Supportive Briefs
On Friday February 28, 2014 the Indiana Court of Appeals approved the inclusion of two amici curiaes (briefs submitted by friends of the court) supporting the appeals filed by Blake Layman and Levi Sparks for their 2013 felony murder convictions. As we first reported earlier in the week several groups not directly associated with the ‘Elkhart 4’ have asked to file briefs in the appeals.
On Friday, in a unanimous decision, the justices hearing the appeal of Layman and Sparks approved the filing of briefs supporting the appeals of Blake Layman and Levi Sparks from the following organisations,
- Indiana Public Defenders Council
- The Juvenile Law Center
- The Center For Wrongful Convictions of Youth — Located at Northwestern University School of Law
- The Children’s Law Center
The Juvenile Law Center, The Center For Wrongful Convictions of Youth and The Children’s Law Center have combined their expertise and are filing one amici curiae.
Court records indicate that each of these amici curiae are being filed in support of Blake and Levi. They will be arguing against the way this case was handled in Elkhart County. It is easy to guess that they will be relying on recent court decisions nation wide dealing with juvenile justice as well as recent scientific evidence differentiating the adolescent brain from the adult brain to support their submission to the court.
By filing these amici curiae some of the nations most prominent juvenile lawyers and legal scholars will be using their expertise and knowledge to defend Blake and Levi.
The State of Indiana is currently working on their brief responding to the amici curiae and the briefs filed by the lawyers for Blake Layman and Levi Sparks.
A copy of the Court Record approving the 2 briefs.