Ninth Circuit Affirms Holding that Major Crimes Act Juvenile Defendants May Be Tried as an Adult

Here is today’s opinion in United States v. Juvenile Male.

From the court’s summary:

The panel affirmed the district court’s order granting the government’s motion to transfer juvenile proceedings for adult prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 5032 in a case in which the defendant is charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm during a crime of violence. Agreeing with sister circuits that a psychological evaluation is not a prerequisite to approving a transfer motion, the panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in making a finding about the defendant’s intellectual development by relying solely on lay-witness testimony. The panel also held that although the district court did not explicitly address the staff-to-offender ratio or specific counseling programs, the district court did not abuse its discretion in making findings about the treatment programs available at adult and juvenile facilities where the defendant might serve any sentence imposed. The panel wrote that the district court consistently presumed for purposes of the transfer decision that the defendant would be convicted of one or both charges, and that the presumption of guilt for this purpose does not violate the defendant’s due-process rights.

This entry was posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Criminal, Research and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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