Notable Decisions and Other News

Court of Appeals Leave Grants

Leave Granted to Examine Use of Youthful Offender Adjudications in SORA Context

06/09/2016

At Jude Francis’s SORA hearing, Appellate Advocates unsuccessfully argued that his youthful offender adjudication for criminal possession of stolen property should not be considered a prior crime for SORA purposes.  The youthful offender adjudication served as the basis for the assessment of 15 points under Risk Factor 9 (prior felony conviction) and 10 additional points under Risk Factor 10 (prior conviction took place within 3 years of instant sex offense).  These 25 points were the difference between a level two and a level three risk. 

On appeal, Appellate Advocates argued that the youthful offender adjudication should not have been considered a crime.  The Second Department affirmed the level three adjudication, but Justice Hall dissented.  In June, the Court of Appeals granted leave to appeal.    

Jenin Younes prepared the leave application and will continue to represent Mr. Francis in the Court of Appeals.  Youth Represent, a youth defense and advocacy non-profit organization, has received permission to file an amicus brief.