As you know, I take a special interest in these cases because it's what I do in my office. When a juvenile commits a specified violent crime, there is always an analysis that we conduct to determine whether we should try the juvenile in adult court or move it to family court.
Here's what we look for and how it compares with the facts of Alyssa's case:
1) Seriousness of the offense - It doesn't get more serious than murder.
2) Victim's opinion - I can imagine the family of Elizabeth Olten (the victim) wanted her tried in supreme court.
3) Prior record - We don't know in this case.
4) Danger to the community - Alyssa's stated goal was to see what it felt like to kill someone. She celebrated the murder in her journal after completing it. I'd say she's a danger.
5) Evidence of guilt - She confessed, wrote about it in a journal, and brought investigators to the grave. Pretty good evidence.
6) Character of defendant - see number 4.
7) Purpose of the sentence - A murder sentence is to punish and deter others from committing the crime. Sending the case to family court does not create a deterrence to murder.
8) Age - The defendant's only 15.
This is a glimpse into the analysis we use to determine when a juvenile case will be tried in supreme court vs. family court. The only thing on Alyssa's side was her age. In a murder case, that's usually not enough.
What do you think?