All Grown Up or Still a Juvenile? Ohio Case Decides Issue
By Anne Skove, Esq.
Putting aside, for the moment, the relative maturity of average 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds, when does a juvenile stop being a juvenile?
Here's the timeline:
Age 15: adjudicated as a delinquent; put on parole.
Age 17: violated parole.
Age 18: parole violation hearing finally takes place. The delinquent participates without a parent, guardian, custodian, or counsel present.
At the parole violation hearing, is the kid a kid?
Yes, says the Supreme Court of Ohio. Thus, he may not waive his right to counsel without consultation with a parent, etc., or attorney. Even though the waiver may have been knowing, voluntary, and intelligent, he was not 21 "and the court was exercising jurisdiction on a matter related to his prior adjudication as a delinquent child."
The dissent (J. O'Connor, joined by CJ. Moyer and J. Cupp) found that the majority's reasoning conflicted with existing statutes and juvenile court rules.
What does it all mean for Ohio courts? We've seen some messy, messy juvenile case files. Clean them up! Pay attention to the status of offenders, timelines, etc. Pay attention to basic plea requirements -- knowing, voluntary, and intelligent. Ask questions, look behind the nodding head to find out what's really going on. Finally, courts must ensure that the right to counsel is honored.
Ohio Supreme Court upholds life sentence for rape committed as juvenile The Ohio Supreme Court Tuesday held that the imposition of the state?s mandatory life imprisonment sentence for the forcible rape of an underage victim did not violate the defendant?s due process rights even when he was only 15 years old at the time of his crime, but hadn?t been prosecuted until he was 21...
Who Decides Patrick J. Buchanan has this editorial at Human Events, titled "The Greenhouse Effect": There is another and larger issue here. It is the question not of what is decided, but of who decides...
CRIMINAL NEWS: Man's juvenile case can be opened, judge rules Man's juvenile case can be opened, judge rules from Courier Journal In an extremely rare ruling, a judge has ordered that the juvenile file of a man now charged with murder as an adult be opened so the public can evaluate if homicide charges against him 12 years ago were properly handled.
El Diario: Shut em Down Editorial from today’s issue of El Diario, the largest Spanish-language daily in New York City, courtesy of (and translated by?) the New York Juvenile Justice Coalition: Closing the door on juvenile facilities EDITORIAL - 03/18/2008 One of the fights that Governor David Paterson must gear up for is around the closing of under-used facilities for juvenile offenders...