California SB 1391

Please sign our petition and undo an unjust law that mandates lenient sentences for violent offenders, traumatizes victims, and endangers society. 

Claudia Maupin and Chip Northup

Summary

Senate Bill 1391, which was signed into law in 2018, prohibits the adult prosecution of juveniles under 16. In California, one tried as a juvenile can only be incarcerated until their 25th birthday. Incarcerating them beyond their 25th birthday means conducting trials every other year. Basically guaranteeing the release of deranged murderers like Daniel Marsh at age 25 (unless they are found to pose a danger at trial) is, to put it bluntly, unjust and dangerous.

Opponents of SB 1391 argued that it conflicted with Proposition 57, a measure passed by voters in 2016. Proposition 57 gave juvenile court judges the authority to determine if 14-17-year-olds are tried as adults. In O.G. vs The Superior Court of Ventura County, the California Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 57 did not conflict with SB 1391.

Maddy Middleton
Maddy Middleton

What is SB 1391 and what does it do?

Senate Bill 1391 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2018. It prohibits any juveniles under 16 from being tried as adults, therefore guaranteeing their release at age 25. In California juvenile courts only have jurisdiction over offenders until their 25th birthdays. Once an offender in the juvenile court system turns 25, they are released. Keeping them incarcerated for longer is a very difficult process–a trial must be conducted every two years to determine if they are still dangerous. This is explained further below.

Opposition to SB 1391

Prop 57, which was approved by voters in 2016, mandated that juvenile court judges determine whether or not 14-17-year-old defendants are tried in adult court. Opponents of SB 1391 argue that it conflicts with Proposition 57. By passing Prop 57, voters stated that they wanted juvenile court judges to determine if 14 and 15-year-olds are sent to adult court. But under SB 1391, juvenile court judges are prohibited from transferring 14 and 15-year-olds to adult court.

Opponents of SB 1391 also point out its impact on victims and public safety. As explained further below, some juvenile offenders will remain dangerous beyond their 25th birthdays. And victims who understandably do not want to see the criminals who murdered their loved ones or in other ways harmed them to be released so early are forced to endure severe moral anguish.

O.G. vs The Superior Court of Ventura County

In this case, the California Supreme Court considered whether or not SB 1391 conflicted with Prop 57. They determined that SB 1391 did not conflict with SB 1391 and upheld it.

Judge rejects Marsh bid for juvenile-court resentencing - Davis Enterprise
Daniel Marsh

Why does NOVJM oppose SB 1391

A 14 or 15-year-old who is tried in juvenile court will be released upon turning 25. That’s 10-11 years of incarceration. But some crimes may warrant longer sentences than 10-11 years. Consider, for example, Daniel Marsh. Marsh, who was one month away from turning 16, invaded the home of Chip Northup and his wife Claudia Maupin. He tortured and murdered the couple, stabbing them both over 60 times. He then eviscerated and dissected their bodies. He later described the murders as giving him the most enjoyable feeling he had ever experienced, which was heightened when the victims were conscious and resisting. Marsh planned additional murders as well. 10 years is not at all proportionate and is a grossly lenient sentence for this heinous double murder. Allowing him to live a normal life from 25 onward while Claudia and Chip are dead and their family members live lives of agony and torment is deeply unjust.

Santa Cruz teen pleads not guilty in 8-year-old Madyson Middleton ...
Maddy Middleton

Also consider the murder of eight-year-old Maddy Middleton. She was allegedly lured with the promise of ice cream by 15-year-old Adrian Gonzalez to his family’s apartment at the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz, California. Once Maddy was in the apartment, the suspect allegedly restrained her from behind, tied her up with duct tape, and raped her. He then is believed to have strangled her. After Maddy kept breathing, he is believed to have stabbed her in the neck three times. The alleged killer is said to have put the girl’s body in trash bags and placed her in a dumpster. He is also accused of pretending to help search for her.

We also oppose SB 1391 because of its detrimental impact on public safety. SB 1391 is based on the false idea that all 14 and 15-year-old offenders can be rehabilitated by age 25. This is just not true. For some juvenile perpetrators, the rehab process will surely take longer than 10 or 11 years. Some are unlikely to ever be rehabilitated. Many juvenile criminals, like Marsh, are diagnosed psychopaths. Psychopaths have no remorse or compassion and are very manipulative. There is no cure or treatment for psychopathy. A psychopath will always remain dangerous. SB 1391 guarantees the release of psychopaths like Marsh into society once they turn 25, even though they are still dangerous.

There are many cases of juvenile criminals being tried in juvenile court, released once juvenile court loses jurisdiction over them, and then committing more crimes in society.

  • Scott Darnell (Illinois). Section 1, example 4. A 15-year-old violent sex offender raped and murdered 10-year-old Vicki Larson while on summer release. 
  •  Jimmy Scales and Mical Thomas (Wisconsin). Section 1, example 5. Teen offenders who already had criminal histories involving robbery and murder were tried as juveniles and released early by juvenile supervisors. They then murdered a pregnant woman.
  • Robert A. Williams (New York). Section 1, example 6. Williams was tried as a juvenile for attempted murder. He later kidnapped, tortured, raped, and attempted to murder a woman.
  • Brian Granger (Michigan). Section 1, example 11. Brian Granger had a juvenile adjudication for a criminal sexual assault on a seven-year-old in 1981. He was sent to the Boysville Detention Center and then the Parmenter House. Less than a week after release, he raped and murdered Sandra Nestle as she jogged. 
  • Markus Evans (Wisconsin). Section 1, example 13. Evans assaulted a high school safety aide with an iron rod. He attacked another school aide, diving across a desk to hit him. He was arrested after the latter incident but was released. After his mother took his motorized toy car away, he poured gasoline around their house and tried to light his mother on fire. When he was 15, he shot his cousin in the back with a shotgun. The case was kept in juvenile court and he was incarcerated for 14 months. Upon release, he murdered 17-year-old Jonoshia Anderson
  • Christopher and Lawrence Boggs (Utah). Section 1, example 16. The Boggs brothers were tried as juveniles for murdering Cody Brotherson, a police officer. They committed assaults while incarcerated and were charged as adults, meaning their juvenile sentences were dismissed. After being sentenced as adults, they were released early. They were then caught allegedly committing more crimes. 
  • Dalton Prejean (Louisiana). Section 1, example 23. Prejean spent two and a half years in a reform school for a murder he committed at 14. Upon release, he murdered a Louisiana state trooper, a crime for which he was executed.
  •  Dante Robinson (New Jersey). Section 1, example 26. Robinson murdered a 12-year-old girl and pled guilty to obstruction of justice in juvenile court. After being released, he committed an armed home invasion. 

NOVJM agrees that most juvenile offenders can be rehabilitated. But we also understand the reality that some juveniles pose a long-term danger. It just does not make sense to set free psychopathic aspiring serial killers like Marsh, even when we know for a fact that they pose a significant danger.

But can’t dangerous offenders be incarcerated for longer?

Advocates of SB 1391 point out that California law allows offenders who are tried in juvenile court to be incarcerated beyond their 25th birthdays if they are found to pose a danger. But the process of keeping these killers incarcerated is difficult and traumatic. A prosecutor must petition for an extension of juvenile court jurisdiction. As Criminal Justice Legal Foundation attorney Kym Stapleton points out in her post:

[The petition] must be done every two years (or less) and involves many different facets and levels.  It first depends on either the Division of Juvenile Facilities or the Board of Parole Hearings to inform the Director of the Division of Juvenile Justice that releasing a (no longer) juvenile offender is a bad idea.  (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1800; § 1800.5).  It next depends on the D.A. to file a petition requesting that the (no longer) juvenile offender remain further detained.  If the D.A. files a petition, the court must determine if the petition, “on its face” supports a finding of probable cause.  (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1801).  If yes, the court will order a “probable cause” hearing whereby the court will receive evidence and determine if there is “probable cause to believe that discharge of the person would be physically dangerous to the public because of his or her mental or physical deficiency, disorder, or abnormality which causes the person to have serious difficulty controlling his or her dangerous behavior.”  (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1801).  If the court determines there is not probable cause, the petition is dismissed and the (no longer) juvenile offender must be released.  If the court determines that probable cause does exist, then the court must order a trial be conducted.  If a trial is ordered, it must be by jury unless waived by the (no longer) juvenile offender.  The (no longer) juvenile offender is “entitled to all rights guaranteed under the federal and state constitutions in criminal proceedings.” (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1801.5)  At trial, the finder of fact must answer the following question:  “Is the person physically dangerous to the public because of his or her mental or physical deficiency, disorder, or abnormality which causes the person to have serious difficulty controlling his or her dangerous behavior?”  (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1801.5).  The standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt and the jury verdict must be unanimous.  If the court or jury determines that releasing the (no longer) juvenile offender is dangerous to the public, he or she may remain committed for up to two more years.  What happens when the two more years is up?  The whole process as just described must happen again, and again, and again… (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1802).

One trial is traumatic enough. But under SB 1391, juvenile murderers like Marsh would be entitled to trials every two years. We just should not have to conduct trials every other year to keep dangerous aspiring serial killers away from society. Large amounts of money and time would be spent on these trials, money and time which could go elsewhere. And victims would be forced to re-live the crimes again and again. They could end up enduring dozens of trials in their lives. They would be trapped in an eternal cycle of torment and pain, knowing that even if they make it through the next trial and the perpetrator is allowed to remain incarcerated, they will have to do it all over again in two years and then again two years after that and two years after that.

Giving dangerous criminals so many chances to obtain release almost guarantees that, at some point, they will obtain that release. And keep in mind that the jury must unanimously find that the criminal poses a danger beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s a high standard. What happens when, eventually, at least one juror believes their danger cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt? Because the felons would be entitled to potentially dozens of trials, they would be able to learn prosecutor tactics. The offenders would also be able to determine why they were unsuccessful in the trials that resulted in continued incarceration. They would be able to address those barriers to release at subsequent trials, which, again, would occur every other year.

Roberta Glass True Crime Report

This Is Dangerous! featuring NOVJM volunteer “Jane,” who speaks about California SB 1391.

Cases impacted

 Adrian Gonzalez

Santa Cruz teen pleads not guilty in 8-year-old Madyson Middleton ...

In July 2015, eight-year-old Maddy Middleton was allegedly lured with the promise of ice cream by 15-year-old Adrian Gonzalez to his family’s apartment at the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz, California. Once Maddy was in the apartment, the suspect allegedly restrained her from behind, tied her up with duct tape, and raped her. He then is believed to have strangled her. After Maddy kept breathing, he is believed to have stabbed her in the neck three times. The alleged killer is said to have put the girl’s body in trash bags and placed her in a dumpster. He is also accused of pretending to help search for her.

Vincent Lising-Campos

Victim: Alexandrea “Allie” Sweitzer, 20

Age at time of murder: 15

Crime date: May 18, 2017

Crime location: Richmond’s Booker T. Anderson Jr. Park, Richmond, CA

Crimes: Robbery, gang-involvement, and murder

Murder method: Gunshots

Weapon: Firearm

Convictions: No-contest plea to three counts of murder, second-degree robbery and first-degree residential robbery

Sentence: Incarceration until age 25

Allie

Summary

Lising-Campos murdered Allie when he was 15. He pleaded no contest to murder and robbery. Due to Senate Bill 1391, which banned the prosecution of 14 and 15-year-olds in adult court, Lising-Campos’s case was kept in the juvenile justice system. He will be incarcerated in juvenile detention until he is 25. Allie’s family sufferers agonizing pain as a result of the killer’s light sentence.

Details

Keymontae Lindsey

JJ Clavo’s Killer Sentenced To Prison

CA law on juvenile crime fails in JJ Clavo killer's sentence | The  Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The convicted killer of a deceased Grant High School football player learned his fate today.

This is a case we’ve been following closely now for four years. JJ Clavo was 17 at the time he was killed in an ambush-style shooting just blocks from his school. And today, his killer was sentenced.

Nineteen-year-old Keymontae Lindsey was tried in juvenile court, and a judge handed him a sentence of a few years behind bars. He could be released by the time he’s 23.

Lindsey was 15 when he shot JJ while the Grant High School football player was inside his car on his way to a playoff game.  If Lindsey would have been tried as an adult, he would have gotten up to 88 years behind bars. But a state law that took effect in January did not allow for that.

Meanwhile, JJ’s mother on Facebook tonight says Lindsey got away with murder.  She also said her faith in God has been her saving grace. And she thanks the community for their prayers.

Lindsey’s exact sentence will depend on the state department of corrections and rehabilitation.

Our petition

Allow prosecution of 14 and 15-year-old violent offenders in adult court

Undo unjust law that mandates lenient sentences for violent offenders, traumatizes victims, and endangers society. 

Summary 

California’s Senate Bill 1391 prohibits the adult prosecution of juveniles under 16. In California, one tried as a juvenile can only be incarcerated until their 25th birthday. They can only be incarcerated beyond their 25th birthday after a trial is conducted and a jury unanimously finds beyond a reasonable doubt that they continue to pose a danger. If the jury does make this finding, the offender can only be incarcerated for an additional 2 years. After those 2 years have passed the process must be repeated. This process will be repeated every 2 years until the criminal is freed. 

We oppose SB 1391 because: 

* By giving dangerous criminals dozens of chances to be released, starting when they are only 25, SB 1391 endangers the public. 
* By allowing 14 and 15-year-olds responsible for rape, murder, and other serious crimes to be released at age 25, after only 10-11 years, SB 1391 denies justice.
* By forcing victims to endure up to several dozen trials, SB 1391 forces them to repeatedly re-live the crimes and traps them in a never-ending cycle of pain. 
* By mandating that 14 and 15-year-old assailants receive dozens of trials unless they are released beforehand, SB 1391 drains the system.


Main statement 

SB 1391 requires that all juvenile offenders under 16 be tried in juvenile court, no matter how serious their crimes are. Even 14 and 15-year-old murderers, rapists, and other very dangerous criminals cannot be tried in adult court. Under California law, juvenile court jurisdiction only extends until an offender is 25 years old. Once they turn 25, they must be released.

If prosecutors wish to keep dangerous felons incarcerated beyond their 25th birthdays, they must petition for an extension of juvenile court jurisdiction. The process of keeping the dangerous offender incarcerated is difficult. A full explanation is given below. To summarize, a trial will be conducted to determine if the perpetrator is still dangerous. A jury must unanimously find that the offender is “physically dangerous to the public because of his or her mental or physical deficiency, disorder, or abnormality which causes the person to have serious difficulty controlling his or her dangerous behavior.” Prosecutors must prove the criminal’s danger beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution succeeds, the offender may be incarcerated for up to 2 years. After 2 years, they will be entitled to another trial and the entire process will be repeated. The entire process will be repeated every other year until the criminal is ultimately released. We just should not have to conduct trials every other year to keep dangerous aspiring serial killers like Daniel Marsh away from society. 

SB 1391 is dangerous

SB 1391 is based on the absurd idea that all juvenile criminals under 16 can be rehabilitated by age 25. Yes, most juvenile offenders can reform. But not all juvenile criminals are the same.

For some juvenile felons, the rehab process will take longer than 10 or 11 years. For diagnosed psychopaths, rehab may never occur. But SB 1391 guarantees the release of psychopathic and dangerous criminals by age 25 unless traumatic trials are conducted.  

As explained further below, the process of keeping dangerous felons in juvenile detention is difficult and grueling. These felons would be entitled to trials every 2 years. Giving dangerous criminals so many chances to obtain release almost guarantees that, at some point, they will obtain that release. And keep in mind that the jury must unanimously find that the criminal poses a danger beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s a high standard. What happens when, eventually, at least 1 juror believes their danger cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt? Because the felons would be entitled to potentially dozens of trials, they would be able to learn prosecutor tactics. The offenders would also be able to determine why they were unsuccessful in the trials that resulted in continued incarceration. They would be able to address those barriers to release at subsequent trials, which, again, would occur every other year.

SB 1391 hurts victims

Victims would be forced to endure painful trials and re-live the crimes over and over again. They could end up enduring dozens of trials in their lives. They would be trapped in a never-ending cycle of torment and trauma. They would have to live knowing that even if they make it through the next trial and the perpetrator is allowed to remain incarcerated, they will have to do it all over again in 2 years and then again 2 years after that and 2 years after that. If and when the criminals are released, victims would endure significant trauma. 

By mandating a chance for release as early as age 25, SB 1391 will deny justice. A 14 or 15-year-old who is incarcerated until age 25 will only spend 10 or 11 years behind bars. Some crimes, however, may warrant longer sentences. 10 or 11 years extremely lenient when compared to some brutal crimes, such as Daniel Marsh’s torture, murder, and mutilation of Chip Northup and Claudia Maupin. Allowing criminals like Marsh to live unfettered lives from age 25 onward, while their victims are dead and/or living lives of pain and anguish is unjust. https://teenkillers.org/index.php/juvenile-lifers/offenders-cases-state/individual-offender-profiles/yolo-county/daniel-marsh/ 

SB 1391 drains the system

Conducting trials every 2 years would take large amounts of time, money, and resources. That time, money, and resources could be spent elsewhere. 

Cases impacted

Chip Northup and Claudia Maupin

Daniel Marsh, 15, tortured and murdered Oliver “Chip” Northup, 87, and his wife Claudia Maupin, 76, in their home. He stabbed them both over 60 times and eviscerated and dissected their bodies. He later described the murders as giving him the most enjoyable feeling he had ever experienced, which was heightened when the victims were conscious and resisting. Marsh planned additional murders as well. He had long been fantasizing about torturing and murdering people and aspired to become a serial killer. Marsh is a diagnosed psychopath. https://teenkillers.org/index.php/juvenile-lifers/offenders-cases-state/individual-offender-profiles/yolo-county/daniel-marsh/

Maddy Middleton 

Adrian Gonzalez, 15, allegedly lured Maddy into his apartment with the promise of ice cream. Once Maddy was in the apartment, the suspect allegedly restrained her from behind, tied her up with duct tape, and raped her. He then is believed to have strangled her. After Maddy kept breathing, he is believed to have stabbed her in the neck 3 times. The alleged killer is said to have put the girl’s body in trash bags, and placed her in a dumpster. He is also accused of pretending to help search for her.

Allie Sweitzer

Vincent Lising-Campos, a 15-year-old gangster, shot Allie to death. He was tried as a juvenile and is set to be released at age 25 due to SB 1391.

JJ Clavo

JJ was murdered in an ambush-style shooting while on his way to a football game. He was 17 years old.

Because of SB 1391, Keymontae Lindsey, the killer, was tried in juvenile court. Whereas JJ cannot live life past 17, the murderer could be released at 23. 

Keeping dangerous felons out of society under SB 1391

California law allows offenders who are tried in juvenile court to be incarcerated beyond their 25th birthdays if they are found to pose a danger. But the process of keeping these killers incarcerated is difficult and traumatic. A prosecutor must petition for an extension of juvenile court jurisdiction. As Criminal Justice Legal Foundation attorney Kym Stapleton points out in her post: 

[The petition] must be done every two years (or less) and involves many different facets and levels.  It first depends on either the Division of Juvenile Facilities or the Board of Parole Hearings to inform the Director of the Division of Juvenile Justice that releasing a (no longer) juvenile offender is a bad idea.  (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1800; § 1800.5).  It next depends on the D.A. to file a petition requesting that the (no longer) juvenile offender remain further detained.  If the D.A. files a petition, the court must determine if the petition, “on its face” supports a finding of probable cause.  (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1801).  If yes, the court will order a “probable cause” hearing whereby the court will receive evidence and determine if there is “probable cause to believe that discharge of the person would be physically dangerous to the public because of his or her mental or physical deficiency, disorder, or abnormality which causes the person to have serious difficulty controlling his or her dangerous behavior.”  (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1801).  If the court determines there is not probable cause, the petition is dismissed and the (no longer) juvenile offender must be released.  If the court determines that probable cause does exist, then the court must order a trial be conducted.  If a trial is ordered, it must be by jury unless waived by the (no longer) juvenile offender.  The (no longer) juvenile offender is “entitled to all rights guaranteed under the federal and state constitutions in criminal proceedings.” (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1801.5)  At trial, the finder of fact must answer the following question:  “Is the person physically dangerous to the public because of his or her mental or physical deficiency, disorder, or abnormality which causes the person to have serious difficulty controlling his or her dangerous behavior?”  (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1801.5).  The standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt and the jury verdict must be unanimous.  If the court or jury determines that releasing the (no longer) juvenile offender is dangerous to the public, he or she may remain committed for up to two more years.  What happens when the two more years is up?  The whole process as just described must happen again, and again, and again… (Welf. & Inst. Code § 1802).

Conclusion 

SB 1391 hurts victims, endangers the public, and drains the system. We should not have to conduct agonizing and expensive trials every 2 years to make sure that dangerous rapists and murderers aren’t released into society. Please stand up for justice, safety, and victims’ rights by signing this petition. 

Conclusion

SB 1391 is a dangerous and unjust law that will result in the repeated torture of victims.