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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kentucky kids age 10 and younger routinely face criminal charges

Kentucky kids age 10 and younger routinely face criminal charges
Kentucky com 15 August 2011
On at least four occasions last year, 5-year-old children in Kentucky faced charges for alleged criminal mischief, harassment, abuse of a teacher and criminal trespassing. In all, 2,117 criminal charges have been filed against children 10 and younger in Kentucky since 2006. It's a number that shocked a key state lawmaker, who now plans to hold legislative hearings on the issue.

Monday, August 15, 2011

12-year old Paul Gingerich was sentenced Tuesday like an adult

KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- He's only a child, but 12-year old Paul Gingerich was sentenced Tuesday like an adult in connection with a gun slaying last spring.

Defense lawyers in the Kosciusko County case say the punishment handed down does not equate to justice served.

A 25-year sentence was doled out to the young boy on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder for the shooting death of 49-year old Phillip Danner.

Danner was shot and killed in his Cromwell home in April of last year.

The sentence for Gingerich is essentially what Danner's 15-year old stepson Colt Lundy received, and Gingerich’s lawyers say that’s not fair, because they believe Lundy was the mastermind behind the killing.

Gingerich told the court he was sorry for what happened to Danner, saying, “I did wrong and I stand ready to take my punishment.”

Lundy obtained guns and he and Gingerich shot and killed Danner, before the two boys and another 12-year old drove to Illinois, where they were apprehended.

Lundy told authorities the boys planned to run away to Arizona and sell t-shirts to drug dealers.

The defense argues Lundy hatched the idea and bullied the others into going along with the killing.

William Cohen/Defense Lawyer: " He's like a pied piper. He's a 15-year old boy telling these 12-year old boys what to do, and that's basically what happened, it's not like Paul Gingerich, a 12-year old, had any idea to do that."

Cohen claims that Lundy at times shot the other boys with BB guns, and that they followed his lead out of fear.

Cohen and co-counsel Fred Franco were most disturbed that Kosciusko County Circuit Court Judge Rex Reed sent Gingerich to the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, a youth incarcerated as adults center, rather than a juvenile prison.

The family of Phillip Danner did not speak at the hearing, but Judge Reed said they expressed their frustration to him in letters, questioning why the murder charges against Lundy and Gingerich were thrown out in plea agreements.

Prosecutors opted to accept the lesser conspiracy to commit murder charges.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

whether adolescent offenders should be prosecuted in the juvenile or adult system is important

The question of whether adolescent offenders should be prosecuted in the juvenile or adult system is important

Most states’ juvenile justice systems have two main goals: increased public safety and the rehabilitation of
adolescent off enders to prevent future crime. Policymakers and others need balanced information about
the most eff ective ways to meet both goals.
Currently, North Carolina, New York, and Connecticut are the only states that prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds
charged with a crime in adult criminal court. The North Carolina General Assembly is addressing the question of
whether 16- and 17-year-olds charged with a crime should be prosecuted in juvenile court instead.
The question of whether adolescent offenders should be prosecuted in the juvenile or adult system is important
because off enders aged 16-24 account for 37 percent of arrests for violent crimes in the United States and North
Carolina. Policies that impact the frequency and duration of criminal activity among 16- and 17-year-olds have a
major impact on overall crime rates and public safety.
Th is Family Impact Seminar briefing report addresses the line between the juvenile and adults systems. A “family
impact perspective” on policymaking informs this report. Just as policymakers routinely consider the environmental
or economic impact of policies and programs, Family Impact Seminars help policymakers examine impact on
families by providing research fi ndings and evidence-based strategies.
Th is report consists of five briefs:
Brief 1 provides background and recent history on the handling of adolescent off enders in the United
States and North Carolina; a description of how the current North Carolina juvenile justice system works;
recent North Carolina juvenile justice statistics; and information on programs and facilities for adolescent
off enders in North Carolina and other states.
Brief 2 discusses research on youth development pertaining to three
issues central to policies for adolescent off enders: blameworthiness,
competence to stand trial, and the potential for an adolescent’s
character to change.
Brief 3 details how other states treat adolescent off enders.
Brief 4 discusses research on how juvenile crime rates respond to
changes in punishment laws.
Brief 5 presents three policy options and a series of further
Th e briefi ng report concludes with a glossary, a list of acronyms, a list of
additional resources,and a chart of the current legal age in NC for diff erent

juveniles housed in detention centers are awaiting an adjudicatory or dispositional hearing.
Four NC counties (Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, and
Mecklenburg) operate their own detention centers. The DOC has two main correctional institutions for
“youthful off enders.” Th ese facilities, where juveniles transferred to adult court are housed after conviction, are
Western Youth Institution (WYI) in Morganton (males only) and North Carolina Correctional Institute for
Women (NCCIW) in Raleigh (females only). Inmates at
WYI range in age from 13 to 25. (Historically, youthful offenders in DOC are off enders 21 years of age and under.
The inclusion of off enders ages 22 to 25 is a product of the declining youthful off ender population and the use of the
available space for older inmates.) NCCIW houses female inmates of all ages. DOC strives to separate older and younger inmates in both institutions.

North Carolina has three types of facilities for adolescent offenders: youth development centers, detention centers,
and correctional institutions.21 NCDJJDP operates five youth development centers and nine detention centers.
Th e NC Department of Correction (DOC) operates correctional institutions. Both departments also operate community-based services.

Youth development centers house off enders age 10 to 21 for one year, on average, and provide youth mentoring, education,
and treatment, with an emphasis on rehabilitation. In recent
years, NCDJJDP has adopted a number of evidence-based therapeutic programs in youth development centers.
Detention centers have fewer and more limited services and staff than youth development centers since the
majority of.
All off ending 16- and 17-year-olds would continue to be tried in the adult criminal system, regardless of their crime. If convicted, 16- and 17-year-olds would be sentenced in adult courts and would have permanent criminal records, unless they petition the
court to have their record expunged.

Note: Under current North Carolina law, expungement is available only for misdemeanor off enses committed prior to age 18, except for misdemeanor possession of
alcohol or drugs, and one, low-level felony for simple possession of cocaine.
Programming, treatment, and other services for
16- and 17-year-olds would continue to be operated by the Department of Correction and are similar to
those available to adults. Some of these services are designed specifi cally for youthful off enders.
Some Resource Considerations
Resources could remain at current levels; however,
state DOC officials would need to continue to develop programming for adolescent off enders and may be responsible for meeting federal requirements
for mental health, social services, and education.
Over the past few years, the NCDJJDP has been developing a continuum of evidence-based services, many of which are appropriate for 16- and 17-yearold
offenders. The services would generally not beavailable to young off enders in the adult system.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Nation's Juvenile Defense Bar Drastically Overloaded

Justice Policy Institute: Nation's Juvenile Defense Bar Drastically Overloaded

A new report from the Justice Police Institute (JPI), System Overload: The Costs of
Under-Resourcing Public Defense, documents the excessive caseloads public
defenders carry in most jurisdictions across the country. Because public defense is
not adequately funded, the report argues, defense lawyers do not have enough time
to conduct thorough investigations, or meet with and provide quality representation
for their clients. This results in adverse outcomes for their clients and contributes to
disproportionate representation of people of color and low-income individuals
behind bars.

National standards recommend that public defenders handle no more than 150
felony, 400 misdemeanor, 200 juvenile, 200 mental health, or 25 appeals per year.
According to the report, 73 percent of county-based public defender offices lacked
the requisite number of attorneys to meet caseload standards; 23 percent of these
offices had less than half of the necessary attorneys to meet caseload standards.

Furthermore, nearly 60 percent of county-based public defender offices do not have
caseload limits or the authority to refuse cases due to excessive caseloads.

August 2, 2011
National Juvenile Justice Network

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Using Graham v. Florida to Challenge Juvenile Transfer Laws
Using Graham v. Florida to Challenge Juvenile Transfer Laws

Neelum Arya
Campaign for Youth Justice
Louisiana Law Review, Vol. 71, No. 100-155, 2010

The article suggests that the recent Supreme Court opinion in Graham v. Florida abolishing life without parole sentences for juveniles (JLWOP) convicted of nonhomicide crimes, may be used to challenge juvenile transfer laws. Part I provides a description and analysis of the Graham opinion and reviews the Court's Eighth Amendment jurisprudence through to their recent ruling declaring JLWOP sentences for nonhomicide crimes unconstitutional. Part II argues that youth have a right to rehabilitation found under the state's police power. In addition, Graham discusses three types of difficulties that adult decisionmakers in the criminal justice system have with respect to youth that may be useful to challenge transfer laws. First, judges and experts have problems evaluating the culpability and maturity of youth. Second, adult perceptions of youth are biased by the severity and manner in which the crimes were conducted. Third, counsel have difficulty representing youth in the adult system. These factors apply to all youth prosecuted in the adult criminal system, regardless of offense charged or sentence imposed. Finally, Part III encourages lawyers to revisit these prior challenges in both individual cases and as part of impact litigation strategies to declare all transfer statutes, or portions of them, unconstitutional.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 57

Keywords: juvenile justice, Graham v. Florida, youth, Eighth Amendment, life without parole

Date posted: July 22, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Notes On Violation Of Amber's Rights

The following will be actual events with no distortion of the facts as they are known.

Our 16 year old daughter was denied many of her rights, thus leading to a murder conviction for which she will be sentenced soon .
According to due process of law. Regardless of
the charge, juveniles do have rights that differ from adults,
and MUST BE APPLIED when taken into custody ,and through of the judicial process, otherwise the system will fail( which it has) and democracy will inevitably cease to exist.
When She was first picked up by police ,and taken into custody, she was not allowed 2 completed phone calls within one hour.(Welfare & Institutions Code 627).Her father went to the police station and was told he could not see her
(Penal Code 120.6).
Her 14th Amendment Rights were violated because she was denied counsel (her Father) during questioning. She had very little knowledge of the criminal justice system (Wel.& Institutions Code 30.23).
Mental condition is a very important issue according to Evidence Code 1016a. A 16 year old girl should not be alone with adult male police detectives for questioning because it infringes on the 5th ,6th,& 14th Amendments of the Constitution concerning due process.
Failure of telling her that her father
was there is a direct violation of Wel. & Inst. Code30.11. It is still unclear what probable cause initiated her to be taken into custody(Penal Code 995). Her deprivation of rights and privileges is a violation of U.S. Code 14141a. All of these violations occurred
during her 1st hours of custody.
(Wel.&Inst. Code 627.5)The minor AND parent to be immediately advised that any thing the minor says will be used against him or her, and to be advised of the presence of counsel during interrogation.
(Title 28 United States Code 1343 Provided A Federal court Forum In Which Citizens Can Seek Redress From The Deprivation Of Rights.

When her Father Arrived home after being told to leave the police station, Local police were waiting for him.
Both parents were detained in their own living room not allowed to place or receive phone calls therefore keeping them separated from their daughter while she was being interrogated.
On page 5 of the police report ( Which has been kept from us, only through Amber's property mail this year 2009 we were able to view any paper work) the interrogating officer states "That at 6:08 PM she said she felt like killing herself ,
He states that "she is a danger to herself and others, and is a gravely disabled minor".
Knowing this, he has her sign a Miranda waiver at 7:10 pm, one hour later.
She was admitted to Ward B at Arrowhead Medical Center where she was handcuffed to a chair in a hallway left all night again denied the use of the phone to call us her parents.( After 8 hours of interrogation) She was placed in San Bernardino Juvenile Hall at 9:00 AM in 5/24/03 We were not informed of her whereabouts whatsoever. The way we found out where she was being held her dad went searching for her found her 3 days later in Juvenile hall.
We only came to know her being placed in arrowhead hospital when a bill arrived in our mail afterwards. It states she was admitted at 2:30 AM on 5/24/03. She arrived at juvenile hall at 9:00 AM on 5/24/03, where she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and in Shock. Intake personnel told us "She entered juvenile hall in the worse shape of any kid they had ever seen. One of the counselor s later told me her mom that she thought Amber should of had a Fit And Proper hearing which she submitted in a report to her public defender. And never took place.
When she felt her public defender was not representing her well enough, due to lack of communication between her and him & he and us (violation of Rule #1.14 in the rules of professional conduct ), The Judge would not allow her to replace him (Marsdem motion) . She Did find out in that hearing when the Judge had them in chambers( The DA her attorney and Amber) that he actually he was doing a very good job). One month later the DA asked to have him off the case due to a conflict of interest that was never explained. He was taken off her case.
There was a Miranda hearing held a few months later with a conflict panel attorney( MIss Torrez) that was suppose to have her statements to police excluded during the trial and her new attorney made a motion to exclude witnesses that were subpoenaed by the public defender. The out come of the Miranda hearing was to be binding at trial. At trial, no defense witnesses were called. No Juvenile Hall Counselors, no original expert Psychology witnesses, (Which did exist) and no character witnesses.She was tried as an adult without psychological evaluation.
She was also told by the public defender to sign documents she did not understand, and we never saw.

Damage Is What It Causes

Written By Amber Rose Riley

Damage Is What It Causes,Pain,is the feelings
it indulges.
All the pressure pushes up inside of you,
eventually,you explode, but that's (what)
they wanted: For me to hate myself.
They want the pain to be to much for me:
For me to feel responsible.
I hurt past hurting,my emotions went numb,
all that's left is for my body to go numb.
No one seems to care;that this is is someone elses crime that put me here.
All my life I wanted to be noticed,
that's why I worked hard, I always did.
Trying to be loving and kind a popular kid.
Now tears are all you see, Why must I be here?
For something someone else did?
God And I know It wasn't me!