Brandon Buskey*

Click here for a recommended citation and to download a paginated PDF version of this article.


Henry Montgomery has survived the remarkable arc of the Supreme Court’s evolution juvenile sentencing. In 1970, Louisiana sentenced him to die in prison for the murder of a police officer, a crime he committed when he was seventeen years old.[1] The sentence was mandatory, and it was perfectly legal. At that time it was also perfectly legal to execute juveniles. A generation later, the Supreme Court barred the execution of children under age sixteen in 1988,[2] but the next year refused to extend the bar to all juveniles.[3] Not until 2005 did the Court exempt all juveniles from the death penalty.[4] In half a decade, the Court ruled that juveniles could not be imprisoned for life without any possibility of release for non-homicides.[5] A mere two years later, yet forty-six years after Mr. Montgomery’s conviction, the Court declared, in Miller v. Alabama,[6] that mandatory life sentences like Mr. Montgomery’s were unconstitutional.

Miller confirmed the lessons of these prior decisions that children’s youth and immaturity make them categorically different for sentencing purposes, and that life imprisonment without parole is akin to the death penalty for juveniles. Thus, automatically sentencing children to a lifetime of imprisonment “poses too great a risk of disproportionate punishment.”[7] The Eighth Amendment’s protection against “cruel and usual punishments” therefore prohibits such sentences.

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CUNY Law Review’s Spring Symposium: “Reimagining Family Defense”

On Friday, April 8th, we hosted our 2016 Symposium, Reimagining Family Defense. More than 100 people attended the half-day event to engage in a discussion of how family defense can become more available throughout the U.S.

The plenary panel featured contributions from Professor Kara Finck of the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Diane Redleaf, Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago based Family Defense Center; and Lauren Shapiro, Director of the Brooklyn Family Defense Project.

Marty Guggenheim, Director of NYU Law School’s Family Defense Clinic, moderated the plenary session, which focused heavily on the need to increase legal representation for parents in child welfare cases. Professor Guggenheim was presented with the CUNY Law Review Scholarship for Social Justice Award.

Making parental voices more prominent in child welfare cases was a focus of the symposium. Members of Rise Magazine, a publication written by and for parents involved in the child welfare system, were invited to share their thoughts on how attorneys and judges can make parents’ family court experiences more empowering.

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2016 First Toast!

Come join us and toast to all of the hard work the outgoing 2015-2016 CUNY Law Review Board did this year and send well wishes to the incoming 2016-2017 CUNY Law Review Board!


CUNY Law Review Spring Symposium

Reposted from Public Square Logo




April 11, 2016

Making parental voices in child welfare cases more prominent was the focus of CUNY Law Review’s recent symposium.

“We are the professionals, but [parents] are the experts,” Angela Burton, a former CUNY Law professor and now with the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services, said in her opening remarks.

More than 100 people attended the half-day symposium on Friday to engage in discussions of how family defense can become more available throughout the U.S.

CUNY Law Review members invited representatives from Rise Magazine, a publication written by and for parents dealing with the child welfare system to ensure that parents’ voices were included.

The plenary panel featured contributions from family law professors from NYU and University of Pennsylvania, along with legal defenders from Brooklyn Defender Services and the Family Defense Project (based in Chicago).

“All of the presenters today start from one basic premise—families matter. Every family matters,” Burton added.

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I Am a Victim Too: Applying the “Dual Victim-Offender” Framework to Reform New York’s Family Court System

Nikki Whetstone*

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New York has two separate judicial systems within Family Court: one for children who are considered “victims,” and another for those who are considered “offenders.” Children whose parents are suspected of abuse/neglect are placed in dependency court, under the guise that the state must step in as parens patriae to protect the well-being of the child.[1] On the other hand, children who are accused of committing a crime are placed in delinquency court, with the purpose of protecting society and holding the youth accountable for their actions, while also attempting to rehabilitate them.[2] However, often the same social and familial circumstances lead children to become involved in both systems, simultaneously yet separately becoming both the “victim” and the “offender” in the eyes of the court. Despite recent efforts to reform the family court system, New York fails to address the needs of youth who are involved in both delinquency and dependency court.

This paper first examines the separate theoretical and historical foundations of both New York dependency and delinquency court, including their differing rationales and treatment of children. Part II of this paper evaluates the correlation between victimization and offending, and the connection between dependent youth and their subsequent involvement in the delinquency system (“dual-status youth”). Finally, part III explores the “dual victim-offender” framework and offers this as a lens to be used by Family Court to inform their view of children and, in turn, reform the way children are treated in the system.

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Andrea Scozzaro*

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This article addresses the issues of unethical employment practices and lack of fair labor standards in developing countries. The discussion on such problems, although ongoing since the 1970s, is still of primary importance both within the scholarly community and the wider public. The fact that big, multinational enterprises of developed countries still engage in violations of workers’ rights is certainly stunning, yet not so surprising given the connections between such violations and the current structure of the global economy. In the wake of a nearly fifty-years-old process of globalization, the worldwide implementation of competition rules in the labor market stimulates “race to the bottom” outcomes, with millions of workers in developing countries suffering from slavery-like working conditions, wages below subsistence level, and inhumane treatments.

Despite the progress made in the field of labor protection thanks to private and governmental initiatives in the last several decades, the current legal tools used to avoid massive workers’ rights violations have been proven ineffective. This is due to the apparently unsolvable friction that exists between the huge economic power of enterprises and the desperate need for economic support of developing countries.


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Lindsay Lee Cowen*

Click here for a recommended citation and to download a paginated PDF version of this article.


These days, the world knows South Korea (“Korea”) as the land of Samsung,[1] kimchi,[2] and k-pop,[3] for which its upsurge in popularity owes “Gangnam Style” much thanks.[4] Below the surface of this most recent hallyu, or “Korean wave”[5] of popular culture ascendency across the globe, lies the darker side of Korea. Numerous articles have scrutinized its colossal plastic surgery industry, questioning the motives behind such procedures and crowning Seoul the new plastic surgery capital of the world.[6] A generation of transnational adoptees has renewed attention in what, during the 1988 Summer Olympics,[7] was labeled the country’s greatest shame: mass exportation of unwanted babies.[8] Media outlets have exposed a “remote island where the enslavement of disabled salt farm workers is an open secret.”[9]

Nonetheless, the hallyu surges forward. Tourism rates in 2015 nearly tripled those from only a decade prior.[10] College student study of foreign languages has declined nearly 7% since 2009, yet enrollment in Korean-language classes increased 45% from 2009 to 2013.[11] In 2014, The Huffington Post launched “Huffpost Korea” and published an article proclaiming what the country can teach “the rest of the world about living well,”[12] while ignoring its low happiness index and high suicide rate.[13]

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2016 Symposium

save-the-date 2Register here.

New Board Members Announced

Congratulations to the 2016 – 2017
CUNY Law Review Board!

CUNY Law Review Board 2016-2017

Not pictured: Sahiba Nanda

Kitty Austin
Navid Khazanei
Executive Articles Editors

Rosemary Almonte
Nora Hirozawa
Public Interest Practitioner Section (PIPS) Editors

Dorien Ediger-Seto
Marie Hahn
Notes & Comments Editors

Nick Bourland
Sahiba Nanda
Footnote Forum Editors

Katy Joseph
Symposium Editor

Corinthia Carter
Special Events Editor

Katherine Groot
Community Engagement Editor

Annemarie Caruso
Katy Naples-Mitchell
Managing Articles Editors

Greg Tolbert
Managing Editor

Jorge Gomez

Vol. 19.1

Explore the complete digital version of Volume 19.1.

Public Interest Practitioners Section (PIPS)

A Sufficieny-of-the-Evidence Exception to the New York Appellate Preservation Rule by Matthew Bova, Staff Attorney at the Center for Appellate Litigation

How Women’s Organizations are Changing the Legal Landscape of Reproductive Rights in Latin America by Fabiola Carrión, Advocacy Program Officer at Planned Parenthood Global


When Judges Don’t Follow the Law: Research and Recommendations by Michelle Cotton, Assistant Professor in the Division of Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies, University of Baltimore Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences


RadTalks: What Could Be Possible if the Law Really Stood for Black Lives? a series of talks delivered at the Law for Black Lives Convening, organized by the Bertha Justice Institute at the Center for Constitutional Rights


Expectations of the Exemplar: An Exploration of the Burdens on Public School Teachers in the Absence of Tenure by Jacqueline A. Meese, J.D. Candidate ’16, City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law

Is it Worthless to be “Worth Less”? Ending the Exemption of People with a Disability from the Federal Minimum Wage Under the Fair Labor Standards Act by Alanna Sakovits, J.D. Candidate ’16, City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law