January 21, 2022

Lewis & Clark Law Student Published in Harvard Law Review

Law student Monet Gonnerman’s article, “To the States: Reflections on Jones v. Mississippi,” was published in Harvard Law Review.

Monet Gonnerman, a 4L evening student at Lewis & Clark Law School, co-wrote an article that was recently published in the prestigious Harvard Law Review. The Review is ranked as one of the top 3 law reviews in the nation.

The article, “To the States: Reflections on Jones v. Mississippi,” highlights how state courts may be better suited to provide heightened protection for juveniles facing life without parole sentences than the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gonnerman co-wrote the article while working as a summer law clerk for the MacArthur Justice Center (MJC) during the summer of 2021. Her fellow author, David Shapiro, serves as director of MJC’s Supreme Court and Appellate Program. Shapiro argued Jones v. Mississippi in front of the Supreme Court on November 2, 2020, and the Harvard Law Review asked him to write the article after the case was decided.

“To the States, Reflections on Jones v. Mississippi” discusses how the Supreme Court has addressed juvenile life without parole cases, and the article suggests a possible solution with the state courts. The article notes that the Supreme Court has not done enough to limit and prevent these sentences, to push for stronger protections for juveniles in life without parole and death penalty cases. However, Gonnerman and Shapiro argue that the solution may lie with state courts. Gonnerman stated that “state supreme courts have the ultimate say on the interpretation of state law, and many have accepted the opportunity to provide more protections under state constitutions than the Supreme Court has under the U.S. Constitution.”

Monet Gonnerman was born and raised in Oregon and completed her undergraduate education at Santa Clara University. Before attending Lewis & Clark Law School, Gonnerman worked with immigrant and refugee communities in Portland. During her time at Lewis & Clark, Gonnerman has also worked at the Office of the Federal Public Defender. She will be graduating in the spring of 2022. Following her graduation from Lewis & Clark Law School, Gonnerman will be clerking with the Oregon Supreme Court.