Sunday, April 12, 2009

Apprendi at juvenile certification hearings

Here is a blog entry at Sentencing Law and Policy reporting about a paper discussing some ramifications of applying Apprendi to juvenile certification hearings. I made that argument a long time ago (unsucessfully) in state court. It has had more success in other jurisdictions. And given the fact that our court has recently held that there is no functional difference between juvenile adjudications and adult prosecutions for purposes of the right to a jury trial, (see here) it is even more difficult to understand why Apprendi would not apply to the decision. It certainly can't be because there is some fundamental difference between the types of prosecutions.

So, if you are involved in juvenile certification hearings or even defending persons who have been certified for prosecution as an adult, be sure to raise an Apprendi objection. Although Kansas law is against us right now, who knows what tomorrow brings?

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