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Cravath Represents Incarcerated Individuals in Suit Against New York Board of Parole

Cravath is representing eight “juvenile lifers”—individuals sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after committing homicide offenses in New York when under 18 years of age—in a class action suit against the Commissioners of the New York Board of Parole. The suit claims the Parole Board violates the class members’ constitutional rights by making parole determinations that are not based on “demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation,” as is legally required for juvenile lifers.

On September 20, 2019, the Honorable Judge Vincent L. Briccetti of the Southern District of New York denied the Board’s motion to dismiss the first two counts of the plaintiffs’ complaint: the Eighth Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) claim and the Fourteenth Amendment (due process) claim, while granting defendants’ motion to dismiss the third count of the complaint, the Sixth Amendment (right to trial by jury) claim.

This means the class action will go forward on the first two counts and will now enter the discovery phase, an important step toward securing justice for the original eight plaintiffs and other class members.

The Cravath team is led by partners Antony L. Ryan and Damaris Hernández and includes associates Deborah J. Frisch, Margarita M. Botero, Marco Y. Wong and Hussein E. Elbakri.

Co-counsel include Issa Kohler‑Hausmann, associate professor of law at Yale Law School, and Avery P. Gilbert.