Tuesday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

17-Year Old Tried As Juvenile After Killing Ref Over Call, Could Serve Less Than 4 Years, cbs.com

A teenager charged with killing a Utah soccer referee because he didn’t like the man’s call during a game pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of homicide by assault in a case that brought new attention to the issue of violence and sportsmanship in athletics.

A judge sentenced the teenager to juvenile prison, leaving how much time he’ll spend there to a juvenile parole board. The maximum would be just more than three years until he turns 21, but the parole board has the authority to let him out sooner, said Patricia Cassell, a Salt Lake County deputy district attorney.

Police say the teenager punched 46-year-old Ricardo Portillo once in the head on April 27 after the referee called a foul on him. Portillo died after a weeklong coma, leaving behind three daughters.

Two of Portillo’s daughters spoke in court Monday, telling the teenager that taking their father away has destroyed the family.

“I don’t think you’ll ever understand how much pain and suffering you made us go through,” said Ana Portillo, 21, looking at the teenager. “We just wish you had taken a deep breath before you did what you did. You have to change.”

He told the judge he aims to get his high school degree and study chemical engineering in college.  He then looked straight at Portillo’s daughters, seated in the front row, and told them he knows how much pain he has caused them.

Hornak noted the teen is a good student — taking Advanced Placement classes — with no previous criminal record. But she also underscored the seriousness of the crime and said she was most troubled that he acted so violently toward a person that did nothing to provoke him.

City gives juvenile offenders a second chance, thisweeknews.com

New Albany has launched a diversion program for first-time juvenile traffic offenders that would void the charge and keep it from being filed with a court.

Amy Boyd, New Albany’s probation officer, said the diversion program is open to drivers ages 15 to 17 who have been stopped for a minor traffic offense, such as speeding, violating temporary driving permit rules, assured clear distance ahead, failure to obey a traffic signal or failure to obey at a stop sign.

The program is for first offenses only, Boyd said, and no accident or other major traffic violation can have occurred during the incident.

A New Albany police officer who stops a juvenile driver can file the ticket with Franklin County Municipal Court or offer the offender the diversion program.

If offered the program, the juvenile driver has five days from the date of the traffic stop to contact Boyd and request admission to the program.

New Albany spokesman Scott McAfee said the program takes one to six months to complete.

Boyd said it is personalized to each offender and includes community service, a curfew, an essay and other components.

Life in India’s Juvenile Homes, newyorktimes.com

On Magazine Road, near the Delhi University campus, a seedy, expansive complex with high, pale yellow walls, which served as a warehouse for arms and ammunition during the British rule, houses three of the six correctional facilities for juvenile offenders run by the Delhi government. Its most notorious inmate is the youngest defendant on trial for the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi.

The juvenile home in north Delhi lodges offenders who are 16 years and older–including those undergoing trials as well as those convicted of their crimes. Last week, 20 juveniles resided across the three facilities. Separate facilities in Delhi house inmates below 14 years and those 14 to 16 years old.

Private security guards and juvenile home staff kept a watchful eye on the inmates at all times, he said, although the closed circuit cameras installed in the complex didn’t work. “The children broke the cameras,” Mr. Dhaneria said.

Despite the facility having a budgetary allocation of almost 4 million rupees, or $66,000, for the current financial year, Mr. Dhaneria said that he was waiting for the Delhi government department overseeing his facility to approve a request to purchase new cameras and computers.

 

 

Alexandra Wolf

About Alexandra Wolf

Alex Wolf is a third year law student at the University of Houston Law Center. In 2010, she received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to attending law school, Alex worked as a paralegal at the Lanier Law Firm’s Los Angeles office. During college, Alex interned for Covenant House Texas, a shelter for at-risk youth as well as for Conscious Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating hunger for children and adults alike. Alex also served as an undergraduate research assistant analyzing deviant and suicidal tendencies and behaviors. This summer, Alex worked as a law clerk for Berg & Androphy, a firm specializing in white-collar defense and qui tam actions. Alex is on the Houston Journal of International Law and serves as secretary for the Immigration and Human Rights Law Society.

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