United States v. Woods, No. 15-2498 (7th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Woods and other gang members robbed two convenience stores. People were shot during the robberies, but did not die. At the time the government charged Woods he was 20, but at the time of the crime he was 15; under the Juvenile Delinquency and Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. 5031, Woods was considered a juvenile. The government successfully moved to transfer Woods’s case for adult prosecution. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. To charge Woods under the Juvenile Act, the Attorney General was required to certify that the case should be transferred for adult prosecution because it met certain factors, which were not at issue here, and that “there is a substantial Federal interest in the case or the offense to warrant the exercise of Federal jurisdiction.” The government must also submit the juvenile’s court records as a jurisdictional prerequisite to a transfer proceeding. The district court must then consider: the juvenile’s age and social background; the nature of the offense; any prior delinquency record; the present intellectual development and psychological maturity; past treatment efforts and the juvenile’s response; the availability of programs to treat the juvenile’s behavioral problems. In this case, the court thoroughly considered those factors.