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Here's when a juvenile can be tried as an adult

Juvenile Criminal Cases

ABC 17 News is taking a closer look at the juvenile court system after a young person is detained in connection with a Columbia homicide. 

Police said the young man is directly linked to the deadly shooting on Hulen Drive Saturday night, but they aren't releasing any other details because of his age. 

In Missouri, a juvenile can be tried as an adult if he or she is certified as an adult. Missouri law says a juvenile must go through a certification hearing if the person commits a serious crime. 

"If the juvenile was alleged to have committed, in this case, first or second degree murder, then the court by statute is required to hold a certification hearing," Attorney Chris Wilson told ABC 17 News. "The certification hearing determines whether or not the juvenile should be certified to stand and face charges in adult court." 

If the juvenile is certified as an adult, then he or she "would be tried in Boone County Circuit Court just as any other person would be tried for the same offense," Miller said. 

There are still some major differences in terms of sentencing. A juvenile cannot be sentenced to death, but they can be sentenced to life without parole. 

Back in 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a mandatory life sentence without parole for a person under 18 violates the 8th amendment. As a result, the Missouri legislature amended state law in 2016 to allow juveniles to petition for a review of their sentence after they have served 25 years. 


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