In re Domingo-Cornelio
Due to delayed reporting and prosecution, Endy Domingo-Cornelio was charged and sentenced as an adult, using a mandatory adult sentencing range, for sexual offenses he committed as a child. Juvenile Law Center, Human Rights for Kids, and Columbia Legal Services filed an amicus brief in the Washington Supreme Court in support of Endy.
Our brief argued that Houston-Sconiers, which held that sentencing court’s have authority to depart below the standard sentencing range when sentencing youthful offenders, established a substantive change in the law requiring retroactive application and further that a national consensus has emerged against applying mandatory sentencing schemes to youth. We further argued that the continued imposition of mandatory adult sentences on youth relies on an unconstitutional non-rebuttable presumption that a youth is as morally culpable as an adult.
On February 13, 2020, Marsha L. Levick, Chief Legal Officer of Juvenile Law Center, participated in oral argument before the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of amici.
In an important win for youth, the Washington Supreme Court held that Houston-Sconiers constitutes a significant and material change in the law that requires retroactive application on collateral review. “Domingo-Cornelio was actually and substantially prejudiced by the sentencing court’s failure to meaningfully consider youth and to appreciate its absolute discretion to impose a sentence below the adult SRA range for crimes he committed as a child.”