In re K.D.D.
K.D.D. was certified to be prosecuted as an adult for an offense that occurred when he was sixteen. He was not allowed to physically attend his certification hearing; instead, he appeared virtually from adult jail while his attorney appeared virtually from a separate location.
Juvenile Law Center and The Gault Center filed an amicus brief in the Missouri Court of Appeals in support of K.D.D. We argued that certification hearings require heightened due process procedures to protect youth from the harms of the adult system and that virtual hearings violate the constitutional protections that must accompany these proceedings. We further argued that failure to provide robust constitutional protections results in racially disproportionate certification, which is exacerbated by virtual hearings.
In a win for youth, the Missouri Court of Appeals held that K.D.D. had been deprived of his due process right to be physically present during his critically important certification hearing. The case was remanded for an in-person certification hearing.
Marsha Levick, Riya Saha Shah
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