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In this appeal from the judgment of the circuit court placing a juvenile accused of delinquency but found not competent to proceed in a mental health facility for a period of thirty-five years under a competency statute designed to address adult defendants and not juveniles, the Supreme Court dismissed the juvenile's appeal, holding that because new evidence suggested that the juvenile had since been restored to competency, the juvenile's appellate arguments were moot. The Legislature has not created any statutory procedure to protect a juvenile's due process right to competency. In the instant case, the circuit court concluded that W. Va. Code 27-6A-3, a statute addressing the pretrial competency of an adult criminal defendant, applied to J.C.'s juvenile proceeding. The circuit court ordered that J.C. be committed to a mental health facility for a maximum period of thirty-five years, as though J.C. was an adult. J.C. appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that J.C.'s argument that the circuit court should not have applied section 3 to his case was rendered moot by a report opining that he had attained competency. View "State v. J.C." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the motion judges' denial of two juveniles' motions to dismiss and remanded these matters to the juvenile court with directions to dismiss each case, holding that the amended definition of "delinquent child" should be applied retroactively to cases pending on July 12, 2018. On or after July 12, 2018, as a result of the enactment of St. 2018, ch. 69, a child who commits an offense before the age of twelve or who commits an infraction or a first offense of a misdemeanor for which the punishment is a fine or imprisonment for not more than six months can no longer be adjudicated a "delinquent child." These cases concerned juveniles who allegedly committed offenses before July 12, 2018 but whose cases remained pending before the juvenile court on or after that date. The juveniles filed motions to dismiss the charges against them on the grounds that the Act's definition of "delinquent child" should apply retroactively to their cases. The motion judges denied the motions. The Supreme Judicial Court granted the juveniles' interlocutory petitions for extraordinary relief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3, holding that the juveniles in these cases were not subject to the Juvenile Court's jurisdiction. View "Lazlo L. v. Commonwealth" on Justia Law

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Penal Code section 1170.95's petitioning procedure applies to a juvenile, like the one in this case, whose murder allegation was sustained by the juvenile court on a natural and probable consequences theory prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 1437, which amended the natural and probable consequences doctrine as it relates to murder. Because R.G. has not petitioned the court to have the conviction vacated and the corresponding commitment recalled, the Court of Appeal held that Senate Bill 1437 relief was premature. Accordingly, the court affirmed the juvenile court's order sustaining the allegation that R.G. committed second degree murder. View "People v. R.G." on Justia Law

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Time Rikat Meippen was a juvenile when he was convicted in adult court of first degree assault, first degree robbery, and second degree unlawful possession of a firearm. The trial court sentenced Meippen to the top of the standard sentencing range and imposed a firearm sentence enhancement. Several years after Meippen's sentencing, the Washington Supreme Court decided Washinton v. Houston-Sconiers, 391 P.3d 409 (2017). Meippen subsequently filed an untimely personal restraint petition (PRP), arguing that Houston-Sconiers constituted a significant and material change in the law that should apply retroactively. Even assuming Meippen could show that Houston-Sconiers was a significant, material change in the law that applied retroactively, the Supreme Court held he was not entitled to collateral relief because he did not demonstrate that any error actually and substantially prejudiced him: the trial court had the discretion to impose a lesser sentence under the Sentencing Reform Act, at the time, and instead sentenced Meippen at the top of the sentencing range. View "In re Pers. Restraint Petition of Meippen" on Justia Law

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A jury found defendants Luis Alberto Ramirez and Jose Roberto Armendariz committed two gang-related murders when they were juveniles. The trial court originally sentenced Ramirez to life without the possibility of parole, plus 65 years to life, and it sentenced Armendariz to 90 years to life. Eventually, the Court of Appeal reversed the sentences and remanded the matter to the trial court for resentencing. Following remand, Proposition 57 was enacted. The California Supreme Court held Proposition 57 applied retroactively to all cases not yet final at the time it was enacted. Thereafter, defendants filed a motion requesting the superior court remand their case to the juvenile court per Proposition 57. Over the prosecutor’s objections, the court granted the motion and ordered the matter transferred to the juvenile court. The District Attorney sought review of the trial court’s transfer order via writ and direct appeal. The Court of Appeal summarily denied the District Attorney’s petition for a writ of mandate or prohibition, leaving only this appeal. Defendants moved to dismiss the instant appeal, contending the trial court’s transfer order was not appealable. The Court of Appeal denied: "Notwithstanding the fact this court reversed defendants’ sentences, the transfer order is appealable under Penal Code section 1238 (a)(5), as an 'order made after judgment, affecting the substantial rights of the people.'” Judgments were entered when the initial sentences were imposed. While the sentences were reversed and resentencing ordered, the resentencing would result in modified judgments, not new judgments. Because the transfer order affects the State's ability to enforce the modified judgements, it was appealable under Penal Code section 1238 (a)(5). On the merits, the District Attorney contended the trial court lacked authority to order the matter transferred to the juvenile court because the transfer order exceeded the scope of the remittitur; District Attorney conceded defendants were entitled to the benefit of Proposition 57. In light of Proposition 57 and California v. Superior Court (Lara), 4 Cal.5th 299 (2018), the Court of Appeal concluded the trial court properly transferred the matter to the juvenile court to hold a transfer hearing. View "California v. Ramirez" on Justia Law

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An IJ is required to inform a petitioner subject to removal proceedings of "apparent eligibility to apply for any of the benefits enumerated in this chapter." 8 C.F.R. 1240.11(a)(2). The apparent eligibility standard of 8 C.F.R. 1240.11(a)(2) is triggered whenever the facts before the IJ raise a reasonable possibility that the petitioner may be eligible for relief. When the IJ fails to provide the required advice, the appropriate course is to grant the petition for review, reverse the BIA's dismissal of the petitioner's appeal of the IJ's failure to inform him of this relief, and remand for a new hearing. A successful Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) application plainly can lead to relief from removal, and SIJ regulations are among those in the referenced subchapter, 8 C.F.R. 1245.1(a), (e)(2)(vi)(B)(3). The en banc court granted a petition for review of the BIA's dismissal of petitioner's appeal of the IJ's denial of his application for asylum and withholding of removal. The panel held that the IJ who ordered petitioner removed erred by failing to advise him about his apparent eligibility for SIJ status. View "C.J.L.G. v. Barr" on Justia Law

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Proposition 57, enacted by voters in 2016, eliminated a district attorney’s ability to “direct file” charges in criminal court against minors who were 14 years of age or older at the time of their alleged crimes. Proposition 57 requires a district attorney to obtain juvenile court approval before prosecuting minors in criminal court. In 2018, the Legislature further restricted a district attorney’s ability to treat minors as adults by enacting Senate Bill 1391, which prohibits the transfer of 14- and 15-year-old offenders to criminal court in almost all circumstances. The Solano County District Attorney argued the new law is invalid because it is inconsistent with and does not further the intent of Proposition 57. The court of appeal disagreed and denied mandamus relief. SB 1391 takes Proposition 57’s goal of promoting juvenile rehabilitation one step further by ensuring that almost all who commit crimes at the age of 14 or 15 will be processed through the juvenile system and in no way detracts from Proposition 57’s stated intent that, where a juvenile transfer decision must be made, a judge rather than a prosecutor must make the decision. View "People v. Superior Court (Alexander C.)" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit vacated defendant's sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The court held that aggravated assault under Texas law does not categorically require the use or carrying of a knife, firearm, or destructive device, and cannot qualify as a predicate offense under Armed Career Criminal Act for juvenile adjudications. However, the district court did not err in calculating defendant's base offense level as 24 under USSG 2K2.1. The court remanded for resentencing. View "United States v. Flores" on Justia Law

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Appellant Anthony Machicote argued his sentence was illegal because he was subject to a potential sentence of life without parole, and prior to imposing his sentence, the trial court did not consider the factors enumerated in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), as adopted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Batts, 66 A.3d 286 (Pa. 2013) (Batts I) and Commonwealth v. Batts (Batts II), 163 A.3d 410 (Pa. 2017). In 2003, Appellant was 17 years old and a resident at George Junior Republic, a residential treatment facility for at-risk youth. Appellant and a co-resident, Jeremy Melvin, devised a plan to subdue a night supervisor at the facility in order to escape. Appellant called the night supervisor, Wayne Urey, Jr., to his room. Melvin, who was hiding, attacked Urey from behind, put him in a chokehold, and brought him to the ground. Appellant and Melvin bound and gagged Urey, and proceeded to steal his keys, wallet, and truck. Appellant and Melvin escaped, and Urey ultimately died of suffocation. Appellant and Melvin turned themselves in later that same day. Appellant was charged with homicide, robbery, and related offenses. Appellant pled guilty to second-degree murder and the remaining charges were dismissed. Appellant was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Appellant did not appeal his sentence. The Superior Court concluded that Appellant’s challenge to his sentence was moot because he was ultimately not sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The Supreme Court concluded the issue was not moot, and the trial court erred when it failed to consider the Miller factors on the record when it resentenced Appellant. View "Pennsylvania v. Machicote" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of murder in the second degree and the order denying his motion for a new trial, holding that Defendant's sentence was constitutional and that no prejudicial error occurred in the proceedings below. Defendant, who was seventeen years of age at the time of the murder, was sentenced to a mandatory term of life imprisonment with eligibility for parole after fifteen years. The Supreme Judicial Court disagreed, holding (1) a mandatory life sentence with parole eligibility after fifteen years for a juvenile homicide offender convicted of murder in the second degree is constitutional; (2) the judge did not err in denying Defendant's motion to continue his sentence so that he could present evidence related to his juvenile status; (3) the judge did not err in denying Defendant's request to instruct the jury on accident; (4) Defendant's counsel was not ineffective for not requesting other jury instructions; and (5) the judge did not err in denying Defendant's motion to suppress the warrantless "pinging" of Defendant's cellular telephone because no evidence came from the search. View "Commonwealth v. Lugo" on Justia Law