House Bill 307
149th General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 AND 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO JUVENILES.
United States Supreme Court case law and scientific research has changed how we think about juvenile delinquency. We know now that an adolescent’s brain is not fully developed until his/her mid-twenties which makes juveniles especially prone to making poor choices. In the landmark case of Miller v. Alabama, wherein the United States Supreme Court prohibited mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles, the Court wrote: “Children are constitutionally different from adults for sentencing purposes.” This proposed legislation would repeal and remove all minimum-mandatory sentencing schemes for juveniles adjudicated delinquent in Family Court because children are different than adults. Family Court judges and commissioners would still be able to impose a commitment to a DSCYF secure placement, but would now have the ability to exercise their judicial discretion to fashion an appropriate sentence for an individual juvenile.