Juvenile Law Center

Juvenile and Criminal Justice

State of Washington v. Watkins

When Tyler Watkins was sixteen-years-old, he was charged with first-degree burglary. Solely due to his age and the offense he was charged with, the prosecutor automatically transferred him from juvenile to adult court under Washington’s automatic decline statute causing him to lose all of the protections of the juvenile justice system and exposing him to the harsher penalties and collateral consequences of a criminal justice system designed for adults. Mr. Watkins appealed to the Washington Court of Appeals and filed a motion to transfer the case directly to the Washington Supreme Court.

Juvenile Law Center filed an amicus brief with Teamchild in support of Mr. Watkins’ motion arguing that Mr. Watkins’ right to due process was violated when he was transferred to the adult criminal justice system without a hearing or other procedural protections. Our brief further argued that Washington’s automatic decline statute undermines United States and Washington Supreme Court precedent articulating that youth are fundamentally different from adults and cannot be mandatorily treated as adults.

Details

Case Number
94973-5
Type
Amicus Curiae
Date
September 15, 2017
Court
Washington Supreme Court
State of Origin
Washington

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