State v J. C. N.-V.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Juvenile Law
  • Date Filed: 05-26-2016
  • Case #: S063111
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Walters, J. for the Court; Balmer, C.J.; Kistler, J.; Landau, J.; Baldwin, J.; and Brewer, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 419C.352 and 419C.349, a youth under 15 who allegedly committed murder may be waived into adult court only if, at the time of the conduct, he or she “was of sufficient sophistication and maturity to appreciate the nature and quality of the conduct involved.”

Defendant, 13 years old, allegedly participated in a violent murder and robbery. The juvenile court granted the state’s petition to waive youth into adult court. The juvenile court’s findings suggest some confusion about the significance of the determination required under ORS 419.349(3), that youth had sufficient “sophistication and maturity to appreciate the nature and quality of the conduct involved.” Defendant appealed the judgment and order of waiver, arguing that the juvenile court misunderstood what the “sophistication and maturity” requirement entailed, and that that requirement was not satisfied. The Court of Appeals held that ORS 419.349(3) requires only that youths understand that their actions were wrong or would likely have criminal consequences, and affirmed the juvenile court. The Supreme Court found that the juvenile court’s findings did not support a conclusion that Defendant possessed “sufficient sophistication and maturity to appreciate the nature and quality of the conduct involved.” The Court held that for waiver under ORS 419C.349 or ORS 419C.352, a juvenile court must find that the youth possesses sufficient adult-like intellectual, social, and emotional capabilities to have an adult-like understanding of the significance of his or her conduct, including its wrongfulness and its consequences for the youth, the victim, and others. Reversed and remanded to the juvenile court.

Advanced Search