Oregon v. J. C. N.-V.Annotate this Case
This case involved a challenge to a juvenile court’s decision to waive its jurisdiction over a 13-year-old boy who was alleged to have committed aggravated murder. Under the relevant statutes, ORS 419C.352 and ORS 419C.349, a youth under age of 15 who is alleged to have committed murder may be waived into adult court only if, at the time of the conduct, he or she “was of sufficient sophistication and maturity to appreciate the nature and quality of the conduct involved.” In this case, the evidence suggested that youth was of “average” sophistication and maturity for his age and was “just as effective” as peers of his age in understanding that his conduct was wrong. The juvenile court found that the statutory “sophistication and maturity” requirement had been satisfied. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the “sophistication and maturity” provision required only an awareness of the physical nature and criminality of the conduct at issue. The Oregon Supreme Court agreed with the youth that the “sophistication and maturity” requirement was more demanding, and reversed both the appellate and juvenile courts. The case was remanded to the juvenile court for further proceedings.