SB 382 Clarifying Fitness Factors Has Passed

SB 382 clarifies the existing five factors considered by judges at fitness hearings in determining whether a youth should be tried in juvenile or adult court by enumerating the Roper/Graham/Miller/JDB findings that youth matters. It makes clear that judges may consider more comprehensive information about the young person than just the seriousness of the crime and the young person’s ability to rehabilitate. The clarifications include new language letting the court give weight to (as part of the 5 factors) the following: the young person’s impetuosity or failure to appreciate risks and consequences of criminal behavior, the effect of familial, adult, or peer pressure on the person’s actions, the effect of the person’s family and community environment and childhood trauma on the person’s criminal sophistication. SB 382 is effective 1/1/16, but defenders can make the argument now that these factors are included in the existing fitness criteria.

For the full bill, please see here: