Justia Juvenile Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Kansas Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court in this case and held that the aggravated indecent liberties statute, Kan. Stat. Ann. 21-5506(b)(1), is not vague or overbroad and does not violate equal protection as applied.The State charged A.B., who was then a fourteen-year-old girl, with aggravated indecent liberties with a child for having sex with a then fourteen-year-old boy. The State first charged A.B. with unlawful voluntary sexual relations under Kan. Stat. Ann. 21-5507, commonly known as the "Romeo and Juliet" statute, but the district court dismissed the charge because A.B. was a few months younger than the boy. In doing so, the court relied on In re E.R., 197 P.3d 870 (Kan. 2008), which held that the statute requires the offender to be older than the victim. The State then recharged A.B. with the more severe crime of aggravated indecent liberties with a child under section 21-5506(b)(1). The district court subsequently declared section 21-5506(b)(1) unconstitutional. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case, holding (1) section 21-5506(b)(1) is not vague or overbroad and does not violate equal protection; and (2) E.R. which held that section 21-5507 requires the offender to be older than the other participant in the sexual relations criminalized by the statute, is overruled. View "In re A.B." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court dismissing M.M.'s claim seeking to recover compensation for his wrongful 226-day confinement to a juvenile corrections facility, holding that Kan. Stat. Ann. 60-5004 does not allow compensation for wrongful juvenile adjudications.A district magistrate judge found M.M. guilty of aggravated indecent liberties and sentenced him to two years' confinement at a juvenile corrections facility. Thereafter, a district court jury found M.M. not guilty of aggravated indecent liberties and released M.M. back to the custody of his mother. M.M. subsequently filed a petition for certificate of innocence under section 60-5004. The district court dismissed the petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the plain language of section 60-5004 unambiguously bars claimants from recovering for wrongful juvenile adjudications. View "In re M.M." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, and one count of aggravated arson, holding that no error occurred in the proceedings below.Defendant was fourteen years old when he committed the crimes for which he was convicted. On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that the court's certification to try him as an adult violated Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000). The Supreme Court affirmed the convictions, holding (1) the trial court did not err when it denied Defendant's motion to suppress incriminating statements Defendant made to police; (2) there was no prosecutorial error; (3) Defendant's Apprendi issue was unpreserved for appeal; (4) the district court did not abuse its discretion in applying Kan. Stat. Ann. 38-2347(e) and authorizing adult prosecution; and (5) the court abused its discretion in applying the factors set out in K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 38- 2347(e) to authorize a juvenile's adult prosecution. View "State v. Vonachen" on Justia Law

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In this extended-jurisdiction juvenile proceeding, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing the juvenile's appeal, holding that the court of appeals had jurisdiction to hear the appeal.The district court gave John P., a juvenile offender, both a juvenile sentence and an adult sentence. The adult sentence was stayed on the condition that John substantially comply with the terms of the juvenile sentence and not commit a new offense. A week before John's conditional release supervision ended, the State moved to revoke his juvenile sentence and impose the adult one, citing several alleged violations of conditional-release rules. The district court found that John had violated the terms of conditional release and imposed the adult sentence. The court of appeals dismissed John's appeal, determining that it lacked jurisdiction because Kan. Stat. Ann. 38-2380(b) doesn't authorize the appeal of a later order imposing an adult sentence in an extended-jurisdiction juvenile proceeding. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Kan. Stat. Ann. 38-2347(e)(4) gives a juvenile offender who is the subject of an extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution all the rights an adult defendant would have, which includes the right to appeal an adverse judgment such as the one in this case. View "In re J.P." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court rejecting Appellant's argument that a nineteen-month delay between his arrest and trial violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial, holding that Appellant failed to establish a violation of his constitutional right to a speedy trial as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and section 10 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights.In support of his argument, Appellant contended that the court of appeals erred in ruling that the six months he spent in juvenile detention should not be counted in determining the length of the delay. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the right to a speedy trial applies in juvenile offender proceedings, and therefore, Appellant's period of juvenile detention should be included in a calculation of how long it took to get to trial; but (2) Appellant's constitutional right to a speedy trial was not violated, even considering the full nineteen-month delay rather than the thirteen months considered by the court of appeals. View "State v. Owens" on Justia Law

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A.D.T., a juvenile, pled guilty to first-degree premeditated murder, completed the incarceration portion of his juvenile sentence and was placed on conditional release. A.D.T. subsequently violated his conditional release by twice testing positive for drugs. The district court revoked his juvenile sentence and imposed his adult sentence of life imprisonment. A.D.T. appealed, arguing that manifest injustice was caused to his constitutional rights. The State counted that the district court strictly complied with the provisions of Kan. Stat. Ann. 38-2364(b) governing the revocation of A.D.T.’s juvenile sentence and the invocation of his adult sentence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that it was not manifestly unjust for the district court to impose A.D.T.’s adult sentence for the positive urinalysis tests where (1) although A.D.T. did not receive the recommended substance abuse treatment while in the juvenile correctional facility, that circumstance cannot trump the plain language of section 38-2364(b); and (2) A.D.T. had fair notice and warning that, if he failed another drug test, he was facing a hard twenty-five life sentence as an adult. View "In re A.D.T." on Justia Law