United States v. Juvenile Male
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
August 6, 2018, Decided; August 6, 2018, Filed
Core Terms: juvenile, murders, weighs, gang, rehabilitation, adult, factors, Male, join, violent, district court, statutory factors, months old, participate, counseling, balancing, concludes, maturity, Female, arrive, interest of justice, alleged offense, psychological, immaturity, programs, seventeen years, grandmother, transferred, marijuana use, favors
Counsel: For the United States: Richard P. Donoghue, U. S. Attorney, Paul G. Scotti, Assistant U. S. Attorney, Eastern District of New York, Central Islip, New York.
For Juvenile Male, Defendant: Joseph W. Ryan, Jr., Joseph W. Ryan, Jr. P.C., Melville, New York.
Judges: JOSEPH F. BIANCO, United States District Judge.
Opinion by: JOSEPH F. BIANCO
JOSEPH F. BIANCO, District Judge:
2018 年 8 月 6 日判决；2018 年 8 月 6日存档
On July 10, 2017, the government filed a Juvenile Information against defendant Juvenile Male ("the defendant"), charging him with one count of racketeering by engaging in conspiracy to murder and murder, 18 U. S. C. 1962(c); one count of racketeering conspiracy, 18 U. S. C. 1962(d); one count of conspiracy to murder rival gang members, 18 U. S. C. 1959(a)(5); and four counts of murder, 18 U.S.C. 2, 1959(a)(1). These charges relate to the alleged murders of Justin L., Michael L., Jorge T., and Jefferson V in a wooded area near the Central Islip Recreational Center in Central Islip, New York on April 11, 2017 ("the April 11 murders").
2017 年 7 月 10 日，美国政府提交了一份关于青少年男性被告人（即“被告人”）的资料，指控其犯有一项参与共谋谋杀罪及谋杀罪，18 U.S.C. § 1962(c)（《美国法典第18 编第 1962(c)节》）；一项共谋欺诈罪，18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)（《美国法典第 18 编第1962(d)节》）；一项共谋谋杀敌对团伙成员罪，18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5)《美国法典第 18编第 1959(a)(5)节》）；及四项谋杀罪 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 1959(a)(1)（《美国法典第18编第2,1959(a)(1)节》）。上述指控与2017年 4 月 11 日发生在纽约中艾斯利普市娱乐中心丛林地带的谋杀案（“四·一一谋杀案”）相关。贾斯汀·L，迈克尔·L，乔治·T，及杰弗逊·V 四人在该案中被谋杀。
Before the Court is the government's motion under 18 U.S.C. 5032 to transfer the case to district court in order to prosecute the defendant as an adult. On July 19, 2018, after receiving written submissions from the parties, the Court held a hearing on the motion. This Memorandum and Order contains the Court's findings under 18 U. S. C. 5032.
政府依据《美国法典》第18 编第5032 节向本庭移送议案，要求本庭将该案件移送至地方法院以将被告人作为成年人起诉。2018 年 7 月 19 日，收到当事人书面意见书后，本庭就该议案召开听证会。以下备忘录及裁决意见包含本庭依据《美国法典》第 18 编第5032节得出的调查结果。
After carefully analyzing the required statutory factors, the Court concludes in its discretion that, not with standing the statutory presumption in favor of juvenile adjudication, the government has rebutted that presumption and met its burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant's transfer to adult status is warranted. In particular, as discussed in detail below, although the defendant's age at the time of the offense (fifteen years, eleven months) and some other factors weigh against transfer, the balancing of all the statutory factors clearly supports transfer of the defendant to adult status in the interest of justice.
First, the nature of the alleged offenses overwhelmingly favors, in the interest of justice, transferring the case to district court to try the defendant as an adult. The defendant is charged with actively participating in four brutal murders for La Mara Salvatrucha, a violent street gang also known as the MS-13. The defendant's alleged participation in this premeditated, brutal execution of four young victims, by itself, warrants giving more weight to this factor than any other factor. However, the defendant's alleged extensive role in the crime makes this factor even more compelling in this case. The government asserts that the defendant was motivated to commit the murders in order to elevate his status in the gang and that he had the following alleged role: (1) the defendant participated in multiple meetings where the plan was discussed and designed in the weeks leading up to the murders; (2) on the day of the murders, the defendant communicated with two juvenile females, who were luring the intended victims into the woods where gang members were lying in wait to carry out the murders; (3) in this pivotal role, the defendant passed along updates to his fellow gang members as to the location and estimated arrival time of the victims; and (4) when the victims arrived, the defendant (using a machete) and his fellow gang members brutally attacked and killed the four victims. A defendant who is alleged to have actively participated in these murders in this depraved, premeditated way is extremely violent and dangerous to society, and is unlikely to be rehabilitated within the juvenile justice system, especially given the limited sentencing options available in that system if the defendant were found guilty (such as the statutory maximum of five years' incarceration). In short, in the Court's view, given the gravity of the alleged crimes and the defendant's alleged extensive role in these crimes, this is the most critical factor in this particular analysis and is a compelling factor in favor of transfer.
Second, although the defendant was under sixteen at the time of the offense, other aspects of the second factor—the defendant's age and social background —favor transfer. The defendant had the benefit of a supportive family in El Salvador, as well as the United States(where he lived with his mother). According to the defendant's own expert(Dr. Eric Goldsmith), he became disobedient in El Salvador and began interacting with MS—13 gang members. In fact, the defendant was sent to the United States for the specific reason of preventing him from joining the gang. Nevertheless, upon arriving to the United States, he rejected the support structure his mother tried to provide, and instead almost immediately chose to become a member of the MS-13 gang, with full knowledge of its violent nature and mission. In addition, the defendant is now seventeen years old and is close to the age of maturity, which weighs slightly in favor of transfer. In short, the Court finds that, given that the defendant allegedly committed the murders despite the stabilizing and deterring influences already in his life, the defendant's social background favors transferring him to adult status. There is a substantial risk that, if the defendant is returned to the same family structure that he had at the time he joined the gang and allegedly participated in these murders after five years of incarceration (assuming arguendo that he received the statutory maximum), he would again choose to become part of a criminal organization and engage in new violent activity.
Third, the defendant's minimal juvenile record weighs against transfer, but as explained below, the Court finds that, in the instant case, after balancing all the statutory factors (including this one), transfer is in the interest of justice.