Articles Posted in Oregon Supreme Court

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This case involved a challenge to a juvenile court’s decision to waive its jurisdiction over a 13-year-old boy who was alleged to have committed aggravated murder. Under the relevant statutes, ORS 419C.352 and ORS 419C.349, a youth under age of 15 who is alleged to have committed murder may be waived into adult court only if, at the time of the conduct, he or she “was of sufficient sophistication and maturity to appreciate the nature and quality of the conduct involved.” In this case, the evidence suggested that youth was of “average” sophistication and maturity for his age and was “just as effective” as peers of his age in understanding that his conduct was wrong. The juvenile court found that the statutory “sophistication and maturity” requirement had been satisfied. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the “sophistication and maturity” provision required only an awareness of the physical nature and criminality of the conduct at issue. The Oregon Supreme Court agreed with the youth that the “sophistication and maturity” requirement was more demanding, and reversed both the appellate and juvenile courts. The case was remanded to the juvenile court for further proceedings. View "Oregon v. J. C. N.-V." on Justia Law

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Relator was 14 years old when he committed murder in 1998. Relator was waived into adult court and convicted of aggravated murder. The court sentenced relator to life imprisonment with a 30-year mandatory minimum period of incarceration. After relator had served roughly half of that period, he obtained a “second look” hearing under ORS 420A.203. The trial court entered a preliminary order of conditional release, but the state appealed that order to the Court of Appeals. At issue in this mandamus proceeding was the trial court’s related “direction” to the Department of Corrections, pursuant to ORS 420A.206(1)(a), requiring it to prepare a proposed release plan. Relator sought, and the Supreme Court issued, an alternative writ of mandamus ordering the department to comply with the trial court’s direction or to show cause for not doing so. The department, however, contended that its obligation to comply was automatically stayed under ORS 138.160. The Supreme Court disagreed and ordered the department to comply with the trial court’s direction to prepare and submit a proposed plan of release. View "Oregon ex rel Walraven v. Dept. of Corrections" on Justia Law