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Juvenile Law: Juvenile Involuntarily Absent From a Waiver Hearing Is Not Denied Due Process (State v. Muhammad, 237 Kan. 850, 703 P.2d 835 (1985))

NCJ Number
Washburn Law Journal Volume: 25 Issue: 3 Dated: (Spring 1986) Pages: 598-609
D J Gronniger
Date Published
12 pages
In State v. Muhammad, the Kansas Supreme Court holds that at a hearing to determine whether a juvenile will be prosecuted as an adult on criminal charges, the 'essentials of due process and fair treatment' may be met even though the juvenile is involuntarily absent.
To meet these essentials, the juvenile must be represented by counsel, and the proceeding must meet the provisions of section 38-1636 of the Kansas statutes requiring notice and the right of the juvenile to be present and participate. In reaching its holding, the court relies upon the ruling in Kent v. United States (1966) that a court may not determine whether or not to waive its juvenile jurisdiction 'without the participation or any representation of the child.' The Kansas Supreme Court adopts the interpretation of the Kent holding made by the Utah Supreme Court in State in re Schreuder: the disjunctive 'or' in the phrase means due process could be satisfied by counsel representing an absent juvenile. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court or the Kansas legislature recognizes the quasi-criminal significance of a waiver hearing, the Kansas Supreme Court will not break new due-process ground for juveniles involuntarily absent from their waiver hearings. 90 footnotes.


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