United States v. Doe, No. 23-9900 (10th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Jane Doe and two boys were accused of killing Doe’s parents. Even though Doe was a juvenile at the time of the murders, the government charged her with two counts of first-degree murder. The government successfully moved to transfer her case to adult court, where the punishments for first-degree murder are death or mandatory life imprisonment without parole. These punishments would be unconstitutional when applied to a juvenile. Doe argued she could not be transferred to adult court because, even if guilty, there was no statutory punishment available for her alleged crime. She also argued the district court used an incorrect legal standard for transfer from juvenile to adult court and improperly weighed the relevant factors for transfer. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals found her constitutional argument was not ripe, the district court applied the correct legal standard, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in weighing the transfer factors. The Court therefore affirmed the district court’s transfer of Doe’s case from juvenile to adult court.