Minnesota v. Grigsby

NJDC joined Juvenile Law Center and the Campaign for Youth Justice as amici in support of a juvenile, William Grigsby, who was tried and sentenced in adult court. The case against Grigsby was initially filed in juvenile court with a charge of second degree intentional murder; however, the case was certified to adult court based on a set of factors relating to the seriousness of the offense and Grigsby’s perceived capacity for rehabilitation.

In adult court, Grisgby was acquitted of the intentional murder charge, but convicted instead on the lesser offenses of second-degree felony murder and second-degree manslaughter. Amici argued that the certification hearing deprived him of due process since the judge considered only the intentional murder charge, of which he was ultimately acquitted, and did not adequately consider his offense or developmental status. Amici underscored that juveniles are particularly susceptible to the pressure and coercion that are central to felony-murder and manslaughter, and that juvenile developmental status is relevant to constitutional analysis.

Unfortunately, on August 1, 2012, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed the Minnesota Court of Appeals decision upholding the conviction.

Court: Supreme Court of Minnesota
December 21, 2011 (download .pdf)
Amicus Brief Discusses: Adolescent Development; Transfer

Oral Argument: March 3, 2012 (watch here)
Decision: August 1, 2012 (download .pdf)