On Monday, May 17, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court, Issued a Ruling Long Sought by Orange County Juvenile Attorneys
On Monday, May 17, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court, issued a ruling long sought by Orange County Juvenile attorneys. The ruling ends life-without-parole sentences for crimes other than homicide as applied to juveniles. According to the court the basis for this decision is that "children are inherently less culpable and able to be rehabilitated." The defendant involved, Terrance Graham had back to back armed robbery convictions which in turn resulted in a judge giving him the maximum prison sentence available, i.e. life in prison without the possibility of parole. According to www.nola.com, in the United States there are at least 2,570 juvenile convicts that are serving life-without-parole terms, but most are for murder charges. Today's decision by the Court was a 6-3 decision. Based on the ruling juveniles who have been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in non-homicide cases now have the chance to have their sentences reviewed by the courts, but not the right to automatic release,
Our San Bernardino juvenile attorneys have litigated many juvenile cases in which the prosecutors were seeking to try the juvenile involved as an adult. These cases require a further level of analysis by the juvenile defense attorney to decide on whether to fight the issue of a fitness hearing under the Welfare and Institutions Code section 707. Of course in certain circumstances, and after passage of Proposition 21, the district attorneys office may choose to do a "direct:" filing wherein the case is directly filed with the adult court. Under Prop 21, a child as young as 14 can be prosecuted as an adult if the crime carries life imprisonment or death if the accused was an adult. What's more, crimes involving personal use of a a firearm as defined under Penal Code 12022.5 and crimes involving gang allegations or hate crimes can also result in a direct filing by the District Attorneys office. Cases which are filed in Juvenile court are evaluated under the section 707 "fitness hearing" standard. These cases include but are not limited to : murder, arson under Penal code 451 (a) and (b), robbery, sodomy by force, ......
If your child or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Orange, riverside, San Bernardino or Los Angeles counties, contact our experienced juvenile defenders for a free consultation. We have handled all levels of juvenile criminal cases and our attorneys and investigators are a familiar face in the juvenile courtrooms and detention centers.