Published on: Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Seventeen-and-a-half-year-old girl, a member of the Choctaw nation, allegedly plans the murder of her abusive and neglectful parents by two underage friends. The government charges her with two counts of first-degree murder, crimes for which the mandated punishments—death or life without parole—are unconstitutional as applied to minors. Girl: the transfer of her case from juvenile court is unconstitutional. Tenth Circuit: Maybe. The claim is unripe—you may be acquitted, be convicted of second-degree murder, plea to a lesser-included offense, etc. Though the facts are tragic, the district court properly weighed the transfer factors. Dissent: Oh please, no, it didn't.
The case is United States v. Doe, No. 23-9900 (10th Cir. Jan. 20, 2023).