When a juvenile is treated like an adult it is because the charges are so serious, usually involving serious injuries to the victim. But, the defendant is so young. I always learn more about young defendants than the older ones as defense attorneys and judges delve deeper into their background to see if there is any help.
In a recent case, the defendant, along with a few others, set up a delivery driver for a robbery in an abandoned house. They used guns and a two by four to do the job, leaving her some permanent head injuries together with some permanent memories.
We had a very strong case against the defendant. There wasn't much room for the defense attorney to maneuver, except to work out a plea. The defendant plead guilty. His attorney claimed mental deficiencies and behavior disorders caused the defendant to follow others.
The attorney hoped the judge saw fit to seal his record and give him probation. If not, the defendant faced up to fifteen years in jail.
A psychologist interviewed the defendant regarding his mental abilities at the attorney's request. The psychologist asked the defendant what was going to happen to him at sentencing. He wanted to assess the defendant's feelings about going to jail.
The defendant hunches his shoulders, slouches in his chair. He scuffs his feet against the floor and casts down his eyes. Finally, he speaks:
"That judge ain't gonna let me smoke weed again."
Jail didn't bother him too much. He just didn't want to give up his hobby. Funny and sad.