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A wardship petition (Welfare and Institutions Code section 602) alleged four counts of attempted murder and firearm, gang, and great bodily injury enhancements against K.C. The prosecution moved to transfer K.C. to a court of criminal jurisdiction (section 707(a)(1)). That motion remains pending. In August 2017, K.C. turned 18 years of age. About a month later, the probation department filed a request to remand K.C. to county jail pursuant to section 208.5. After hearing testimony about K.C.’s conduct in juvenile detention, the juvenile court granted the request, finding it had transfer authority under sections 207.6 and 208.5. The court of appeal affirmed, rejecting K.C.’s argument that section 208.5 does not grant the juvenile court authority to transfer an 18-year-old to county jail prior to the juvenile being found unfit for juvenile court jurisdiction. View "K.C. v. Superior Court" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court declined to hold that the felony-murder rule violates due process under the Iowa or United States Constitution when it is applied to juvenile offenders pursuant to a theory of aiding and abetting. Defendant was a juvenile and unarmed when he participated in a marijuana robbery. A coparticipant, who had brought a gun to the crime, killed the robbery victim. Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with immediate parole eligibility. The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence, holding (1) applying the felony-murder rule to juvenile offenders based on a theory of aiding and abetting is constitutional; (2) Defendant’s sentence did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment, either categorically or as applied to Defendant; (3) the trial court provided the jury with proper instructions regarding the types of assault required to establish the forcible felony robbery element of felony murder; and (4) the record was inadequate for the Court to address some of Defendant’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, and the remainder of Defendant’s ineffective assistance of counsel claims were without merit. View "State v. Harrison" on Justia Law

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Because third degree sexual assault is not a lesser-included offense of first degree sexual assault, the juvenile court erred in adjudicating Jordan B. based on its finding that he committed third degree sexual assault when the only law violation alleged in the petition was first degree sexual assault. The county attorney filed a petition asking the juvenile court to adjudicate Jordan as a juvenile who committed an act that would constitute a felony pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247(2). The felony alleged was first degree sexual assault, as described in Neb. Rev. Stat. 28-319. The juvenile court found that the State failed to prove Jordan committed acts constituting first degree sexual assault as charged. Nevertheless, the court raised sua sponte the “lesser included offense” of third degree sexual assault and adjudicated Jordan as a child within the meaning of section 43-247(1). The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the juvenile court adjudicated Jordan on grounds for which he had no notice, in violation of the Due Process Clauses of the Nebraska and United States Constitutions. View "In re Interest of Jordan B." on Justia Law

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During seven weeks in 2002, Malvo (then 17 years old) and Muhammad, the “D.C. Snipers,” murdered 12 individuals, inflicted grievous injuries on six others, and terrorized the area with a shooting spree. The two were apprehended while sleeping in a car. A loaded rifle was found in the car; a hole had been “cut into the lid of the trunk, just above the license plate, through which a rifle barrel could be projected.” At the time, a Virginia defendant convicted of capital murder, who was at least 16 years old at the time of his crime, would be punished by either death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. A jury convicted Malvo of two counts of capital murder but declined to recommend the death penalty. He was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment without parole. Malvo later pleaded guilty in another Virginia jurisdiction to capital murder and attempted capital murder and received two additional terms of life imprisonment without parole. The Supreme Court subsequently held that defendants who committed crimes when under the age of 18 cannot be sentenced to death; cannot be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole unless they committed a homicide that reflected their permanent incorrigibility; and that these rules were to be applied retroactively. The Fourth Circuit concluded that Malvo’s sentences must be vacated because the retroactive constitutional rules for sentencing juveniles were not satisfied. The court remanded for resentencing to determine whether Malvo qualifies as a rare juvenile offender who may, consistent with the Eighth Amendment, be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole because his “crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility” or whether those crimes instead “reflect the transient immaturity of youth,” so that he must receive a lesser sentence. View "Malvo v. Mathena" on Justia Law

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A jury convicted Tia Marie-Mitchell Skinner, and Kenya Hyatt were convicted by jury: Skinner, for first-degree premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder for acts committed when she was seventeen years old; Hyatt for first-degree felony murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony for acts committed when he was seventeen years old. At issue before the Michigan Supreme Court was whether MCL 769.25 violated the Sixth Amendment because it allowed the decision whether to impose a sentence of life without parole to be made by a judge, rather than by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. The Supreme Court held that MCL 769.25 did not violate the Sixth Amendment because neither the statute nor the Eighth Amendment required a judge to find any particular fact before imposing life without parole; instead, life without parole was authorized by the jury’s verdict alone. Therefore, the Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals in Skinner and affirmed the part of Hyatt that held that “[a] judge, not a jury, must determine whether to impose a life-without-parole sentence or a term-of-years sentence under MCL 769.25.” However, the Court reversed the part of Hyatt that adopted a heightened standard of review for life-without-parole sentences imposed under MCL 769.25 and that remanded this case to the trial court for it to “decide whether defendant Hyatt is the truly rare juvenile mentioned in [Miller v Alabama, 567 US 460; 132 S Ct 2455; 183 L Ed 2d 407 (2012)] who is incorrigible and incapable of reform.” No such explicit finding is required. Finally, the Supreme Court remanded both of these cases to the Court of Appeals for it to review defendants’ sentences under the traditional abuse-of-discretion standard of review. View "Michigan v. Skinner" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeal granted habeas relief and ordered the release of petitioner on parole. After petitioner was found suitable for parole under the youth offender provisions of Penal Code sections 3051 and 4801, he was not released but required to serve an additional consecutive, eight-year term for a conviction he sustained while in prison when he was 26 years old. In re Trejo (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 972, 980, a youth offender found suitable for release on parole pursuant to section 3051, was not required, before being released, to serve a consecutive sentence imposed for a crime he committed in prison at age 20. The court held that In re Trejo compelled the conclusion that petitioner be released, petitioner was suitable for release on parole, and his period of parole must be reduced by the amount of time he has served since being found suitable for release. View "In re Williams" on Justia Law

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Custodial interrogation for purposes of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), at public schools requires police involvement, and so when school officials alone meet with students Miranda warnings are not required. After D.Z. was called into the office of the assistant principal of a high school he confessed to writing sexual graffiti on the school’s boys-bathroom walls. The State filed a delinquency petition alleging that D.Z. committed criminal mischief and harassment. The juvenile court found that D.Z. had committed criminal mischief. The Supreme Court reversed, finding that D.Z.’s statements to the assistant principal should have been suppressed because D.Z. was under custodial interrogation. The Supreme Court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals and affirmed the criminal-mischief adjudication, holding that D.Z. was not entitled to Miranda warnings because he was interviewed only by a school official - not by police. View "D.Z. v. State" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was when public school students are entitled to Miranda warnings at school. B.A., who was thirteen years old, was escorted from a school bus and questioned in a vice-principal’s office in response to a bomb threat on a bathroom wall. Three officers wearing police uniforms hovered over B.A. and encouraged him to confess. B.A. moved to suppress the evidence from his interview, arguing that he was entitled to Miranda warnings because he was under custodial interrogation and officers failed to secure waiver of his Miranda rights under Indiana’s juvenile waiver statute, Ind. Code 31-32-5-1. The juvenile court denied the motion and found B.A. delinquent for committing false reporting and institutional criminal mischief. The Supreme Court reversed B.A.’s delinquency adjudications, holding (1) B.A. was in police custody and under police interrogation when he made the incriminating statements; and (2) therefore, B.A.’s statements should have been suppressed under both Miranda and Indiana’s juvenile waiver statute. View "B.A. v. State" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeal affirmed the juvenile court's determination that D.A. committed misdemeanor battery and order of six month probation. The court held that the prosecutor presented sufficient evidence to establish the corpus delicti of misdemeanor battery independently of D.A.'s statements to a police officer. In this case, the officer responded to a disturbance call and found D.A. standing in the driveway. She told the officer that she had slapped and pushed her boyfriend and the boyfriend was visibly upset with injuries on his face. View "In re D.A." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals finding substantial evidence that the juvenile in this case committed a sex offense by force and that the sex offender registry requirements imposed upon the juvenile by law did not violate the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment under either the state or federal Constitutions. The juvenile court found the juvenile committed a sex offense by force and required him to register as a sex offender under Iowa Code 692A.103(4), the mandatory sex offender registry statute. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that automatic, mandatory registration for certain juvenile sex offenders is punishment but that such registration does not amount to cruel and unusual punishment. View "In re T.H." on Justia Law