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United States v. J.C.D.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

May 31, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,
v.
J.C.D., Defendant, Appellant.

          Date of Issuance 7/5/2017

         APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO [Hon. Pedro A. Delgado-Hernández, U.S. District Judge]

          Víctor J. González-Bothwell, Assistant Federal Public Defender, with whom Eric A. Vos, Federal Public Defender, Vivianne M. Marrero-Torres, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Supervisor, Appeals Section, and Patricia A. Garrity, Research and Writing Specialist, were on brief, for appellant.

          Thomas F. Klumper, Assistant United States Attorney, Senior Appellate Counsel, with whom Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney, and Mariana E. Bauzá-Almonte, Assistant United States Attorney, Chief, Appellate Division, were on brief, for appellee.

          Before Torruella, Lipez, and Barron, Circuit Judges.

          BARRON, Circuit Judge.

          Juveniles may be tried criminally as adults in federal court if the government moves for the juvenile defendant to be tried as an adult and a federal district court finds that, given the requirements set out in 18 U.S.C. § 5032, it would be appropriate to do so. This case arises from an armed carjacking allegedly committed by J.C.D. in November 2014, when he was seventeen years old. The issue that we must decide concerns whether the District Court erred in granting the government's motion for J.C.D. to be tried as an adult for that armed carjacking. We affirm.

         I.

         On November 10, 2014, J.C.D. was charged in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico with one count of carjacking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2119 and 2. Under 18 U.S.C. § 5032, juvenile defendants may be transferred to adult status -- and thus may be tried as adults -- only if the Attorney General certifies that one of three expressly enumerated conditions are met and if a district court also finds, after a hearing, that the transfer would serve the "interest of justice." Under the statute, in determining whether a transfer is in the interest of justice, the District Court must consider "[e]vidence of the following factors" and make "findings with regard to each factor . . . in the record":

[T]he age and social background of the juvenile; [2] the nature of the alleged offense; [3] the extent and nature of the juvenile's prior delinquency record; [4] the juvenile's present intellectual development and psychological maturity; [5] the nature of past treatment efforts and the juvenile's response to such efforts; [6] the availability of programs designed to treat the juvenile's behavioral problems.

Id.

         Here, the government filed a transfer motion, pursuant to § 5032, after J.C.D.'s arraignment and a subsequent detention hearing. The Attorney General concluded that one of the three statutory conditions had been met -- ruling that the offense charged involved a "crime of violence" under § 5032. J.C.D. requested that the court deny the transfer motion, in light of the six statutory factors. The District Court then referred the matter to a Magistrate Judge. Soon thereafter, both parties filed more thorough memoranda in the proceedings before the Magistrate Judge.

         After several continuances and a four-day hearing, the Magistrate Judge issued a detailed report and recommendation recommending that the District Court deny the government's motion to transfer. The Magistrate Judge ...


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