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David participated in the armed robbery of an Oakland pawn shop in 1994 when he was 17 years old. The juvenile court sustained a robbery allegation and he was committed to the California Youth Authority, where he spent three and one-half years. He was honorably discharged from parole in 2002. Three times, the court denied his petitions to have the records pertaining to his robbery offense sealed pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 781. In 2016, at age 38, David filed an amended motion to set aside the robbery finding and dismiss the petition, pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 782, and to seal his juvenile records, pursuant to section 781. The court set aside the robbery finding and dismissed the petition on the ground that it was “in the interest of justice and welfare to do so” but denied the request to seal his juvenile records. The court of appeal reversed. Because the order setting aside the robbery finding and dismissing the petition under section 782 erased the petition as if it had never existed, the court improperly denied David’s motion to seal his records under section 781 View "In re David T." on Justia Law

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In 1988, Palmer, then 17, pled guilty to kidnapping for robbery. Sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, Palmer has gone before the State of California Board of Parole Hearings 10 times, without success. In 2015 he was denied parole with a five-year denial. Palmer claims that the Board wrongfully refused to set a base term and an adjusted base term for Palmer‘s commitment offense, and applied the incorrect standard at Palmer‘s parole hearing by failing to give great weight to the youth offender factors. The court of appeal issued an order to show cause. Six days later, the Board calculated Palmer‘s base and adjusted base terms. The court of appeal then ordered the Board to hold a new hearing. The 2015 hearing did not comply with the requirement of setting a base term and an adjusted base term; the Board must take into account the adjusted base term‘s relationship to time served before deciding to deny parole. The issue of excessive punishment must be factored into the term of the Board‘s denial. The Board did not identify substantial evidence that Palmer is currently dangerous. View "In re Palmer" on Justia Law

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Federal Medicaid funds are not available for state medical expenditures made on behalf of “any individual who is an inmate of a public institution (except as a patient in a medical institution),” 42 U.S.C. 1396d(a)(29)(A). "Inmate of a public institution" means a person who is living in a public institution. However, an individual living in a public institution is not an “inmate of a public institution” if he resides in the public institution “for a temporary period pending other arrangements appropriate to his needs.” Ohio submitted a proposed plan amendment aimed at exploiting this distinction: it sought to classify pretrial detainees under age 19 as noninmates, living in a public institution for only “a temporary period pending other arrangements appropriate to [their] needs,” for whom the state could claim Medicaid reimbursement. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected the amendment, finding that the inmate exclusion recognizes “no difference” between adults and juveniles, or convicted detainees and those awaiting trial. The Sixth Circuit denied a petition for review, agreeing that the involuntary nature of the stay is the determinative factor. The exception does not apply when the individual is involuntarily residing in a public institution awaiting adjudication of a criminal matter. View "Ohio Department of Medicaid v. Price" on Justia Law

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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