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The first clause of Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code 300(b)(1) authorizes a juvenile court to exercise dependency jurisdiction over a child without a finding that a parent is at fault or blameworthy for her failure or inability to supervise or protect her child. The court of appeal also concluded that section 300(b)(1)’s first clause does not require such a finding. In this case, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services filed a petition to declare then seventeen-year-old R.T. a dependent of the juvenile court on the ground that she faced a substantial risk of serious physical harm or illness as a result of Mother’s failure or inability adequately to supervise or protect her. The juvenile court asserted jurisdiction over R.T. The court of appeal affirmed the jurisdictional and dispositional orders of the juvenile court. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that when a child’s behavior places her at substantial risk of serious physical harm and a parent is unable to protect or supervise that child, the juvenile court’s assertion of jurisdiction is authorized under section 300(b)(1). View "In re R.T." on Justia Law

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In 1983, Carr was convicted capital murder for killing his brother, stepmother, and stepsister when he was 16 years old. He was sentenced to three concurrent terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years. His sentences were imposed without any consideration of his youth. The Missouri Supreme Court granted his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. His sentences violate the Eighth Amendment because, following the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama, juvenile offenders cannot be sentenced to life without parole pursuant to mandatory sentencing schemes that preclude consideration of the offender’s youth and attendant circumstances. Carr was sentenced under a mandatory sentencing scheme that afforded no opportunity to consider his age, maturity, limited control over his environment, the transient characteristics attendant to youth, or his capacity for rehabilitation. Carr must be resentenced so his youth and other attendant circumstances surrounding his offense can be taken into consideration to ensure he will not be forced to serve a disproportionate sentence in violation of the Eighth Amendment. View "Carr v. Wallace" on Justia Law

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Willbanks was 17 years old when he was charged with kidnapping, first-degree assault, two counts of first-degree robbery, and three counts of armed criminal action, based on a carjacking. He was convicted and sentenced to consecutive prison terms of 15 years for the kidnapping count, life for the assault count, 20 years for each of the two robbery counts, and 100 years for each of the three armed criminal action counts. On appeal, he argued his sentences, in the aggregate, will result in the functional equivalent of a life without parole sentence and that Missouri’s mandatory minimum parole statutes and regulations violate his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment in light of the Supreme Court holding in Graham v. Florida (2010). The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Missouri’s mandatory minimum parole statutes and regulations are constitutionally valid under Graham. Graham held that the Eighth Amendment barred sentencing a juvenile to a single sentence of life without parole for a nonhomicide offense. Graham did not address juveniles who were convicted of multiple nonhomicide offenses and received multiple fixed-term sentences. View "Willbanks v. Missouri Department of Corrections" on Justia Law

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The Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Juvenile Division, issued a protocol addressing the process by which minors are found incompetent and later found to have attained competency. The Supreme Court of California held that although trial courts are not barred from adopting such protocols as guidance or as local rules, the Court of Appeal was correct that the protocol does not presumptively or otherwise define due process. The court declined to decide whether the length of detention in this case violated due process and instead held that any violation was not prejudicial in light of the juvenile court's finding of malingering. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "In re Albert C." on Justia Law

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Eight-year-old KV accused her 17-year-old uncle, JAS, of vaginally raping her on tribal land. The FBI interviewed KV, who described the assault to an interviewer who had conducted more than 5,000 such interviews. JAS was charged with an act of juvenile delinquency: sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12, 18 U.S.C. 2241(c). The district court found beyond a reasonable doubt that JAS had sexually assaulted KV as charged. Although the Sentencing Guidelines would have recommended a life sentence had JAS been an adult, his maximum sentence as a juvenile was five years of “official detention,” 18 U.S.C. 5037(c)(2)(A); the district court sentenced him to three. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, rejecting JAS’s arguments that the court improperly admitted the video of the victim’s FBI interview and that the evidence was insufficient to support the finding that he sexually assaulted KV. The court cited Rule 801(d)(1)(B)(ii), which allows the admission of prior out-of-court statements of a trial witness (KV) if: the statements are consistent with the witness’s testimony; the statements are offered to rehabilitate the witness after an opposing party has tried to impeach her “on another ground”; and the opposing party is able to cross-examine the witness about the prior statements. View "United States v. J.A.S." on Justia Law

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The district court did not err in granting the government’s motion for J.C.D. to be tried as an adult for an armed carjacking J.C.D. allegedly committed when he was seventeen years old. J.C.D. was charged with one count of carjacking. The government filed a motion to transfer J.C.D. to adult status. After balancing the statutory factors, the magistrate judge recommended that the government’s motion to transfer the case be denied. The district court granted the government’s motion to transfer, contrary to the magistrate judge’s recommendation, concluding that the statutory factors, when balanced, warranted transfer of J.C.D. to adult status in the interest of justice. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that J.C.D.’s challenges raised on appeal failed. View "United States v. J.C.D." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court affirming the nineteen-year prison sentence imposed on Defendant at resentencing for his involvement in the robberies of three individuals and the kidnapping of one of those individuals when Defendant was sixteen years old. Specifically, the court held (1) Defendant failed to show that the trial court imposed the sentence as a penalty for exercising his right to a jury trial instead of pleading guilty; (2) the sentence did not violate the Eighth Amendment because it did not involve the imposition of the harshest possible penalties for juveniles, it was proportionate, and there is no national consensus against imposing mandatory sentences on juveniles tried as adults; and (3) Defendant forfeited his argument that the mandatory sentencing scheme set forth in Ohio Rev. Code 2929 violates due process as applied to children. View "State v. Anderson" on Justia Law

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In State v. Aalim, __ N.E.3d __ (Aalim I), the Supreme Court declared that the Ohio Constitution requires that a juvenile who is subject to mandatory bindover receive an amenability hearing. Implicit in this holding was the conclusion that a juvenile-division judge has discretion in deciding whether to transfer to adult court a juvenile in a case where the juvenile is sixteen or seventeen years old and there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile committed an offense outlined in Ohio Rev. Code 2152.10(A)(2)(b). The Supreme Court then granted the State’s motion for reconsideration, holding that the decision in Aalim I usurped the General Assembly’s exclusive constitutional authority to define the jurisdiction of the courts of common pleas by impermissibly allowing a juvenile division judge discretion to veto the legislature’s grant of jurisdiction to the general division of a court of common pleas over a limited class of juvenile offenders. The court further held that the mandatory bindover of certain juvenile to adult court under Ohio Rev. Code 2152.10(A)(2)(b) and 2152.12(A)(1)(b) does not violate the due course of law clause or the equal protection clause of the Ohio Constitution or the analogous provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. View "State v. Aalim" on Justia Law

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A 2012 wardship petition alleged that defendant, age 15, committed second-degree robbery by means of force or fear and possessed marijuana. He admitted grand theft. The court dismissed count two, declared defendant a ward of the court, and placed him on probation. During defendant’s probationary term, he sustained 21 referrals, prompting eight additional wardship petitions and resulting in four sustained felonies and eight sustained misdemeanors. Defendant was placed in residential treatment. Defendant’s placement ended in November 2014, days after his 18th birthday. In December 2014, the juvenile court found that defendant had successfully completed probation, terminated jurisdiction and wardship, and dismissed defendant’s probation violation petitions. Defendant asked the court to seal his juvenile records (Welfare and Institutions Code 781(a)). An April 2015 complaint charged defendant with attempted murder and robbery. The prosecutor sought disclosure of his juvenile records for purposes of impeachment. In response to a court order, the probation department recommended that the court deny defendant’s motion because “rehabilitation has not been attained.” The juvenile court denied defendant’s petition and granted the prosecution’s petition. The court of appeal reversed and remanded for consideration under section 786, in effect at the time of the adjudication, rather than under section 781, which was in effect when defendant filed his petition. View "In re I.F." on Justia Law

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The state filed a petition alleging A.C., at the age of 14 years, committed the felony-grade delinquent acts of aggravated rape of a victim under the age of 13 years, and indecent behavior with a juvenile. Pursuant to La.Ch.C. art. 877(B), the state had 90 days to commence the adjudication hearing, which was until Monday, June 6, 2016. The juvenile court set the adjudication hearing for Friday, June 3, 2016. On that date, the state made a motion to continue the hearing alleging that the prosecutor and the family of the victims had been out of town and witnesses had not been subpoenaed. Counsel for A.C. objected and indicated that, as soon as the 90-day limit passed, counsel would file a motion to dismiss the delinquency petition. The juvenile court found there was not good cause to extend the 90-day period and additionally dismissed the delinquency petition at that time. The state objected and gave notice of its intent to seek supervisory review in the court of appeal. The court of appeal granted the state’s writ application and reversed. On October 13, 2016, A.C. moved again to dismiss the delinquency petition, contending that the 90-day time limit had run, and argued in the alternative that the time was not suspended when the state sought supervisory review or, if the time was suspended, it began to run again after the court of appeal’s ruling on October 7, 2016, and had now run out. After the juvenile court denied A.C.’s motion to dismiss, A.C. gave notice of his intent to seek supervisory review from the court of appeal. The court of appeal granted A.C.’s writ application and dismissed the delinquency petition for failure to timely commence the adjudication hearing. The state asserted that there was good cause on day 88, and the court of appeal previously found the juvenile court acted prematurely in dismissing the petition. The Louisiana Supreme Court agreed the juvenile court’s dismissal was premature. While it would have been a better practice for the state to seek a stay from the juvenile court, or obtaining none from that court, seek a stay from the court of appeal, the Supreme Court found the state’s failure to obtain a stay was not fatal under the circumstances. The Court reversed the court of appeals and remanded for further proceedings. View "Louisiana in the Interest of A.C." on Justia Law