Texas v. Moon

Brief of Juvenile Law Center, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, et al. as amici curiae in Support of Appellee Cameron Moon (full list of amici in appendix to linked brief).

Brief filed: 03/21/2014


Texas v. Moon

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals; Case No. PD-1215-13

Prior Decision

Decision below 410 S.W.3d 366 (Tex.App. –Hous. (1 Dist.) July 30, 2013) (No. 01-10-00341-CR).


U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence demonstrates that the state’s flawed reading of the Texas waiver statute is also constitutionally defective. The state’s flawed reading of Texas’s transfer statute runs afoul of constitutional requirement for an individualized judicial determination prior to trial in adult court, where youth are subject to mandatory sentencing statutes. The United States Supreme Court’s ‘kids are different’ jurisprudence is not limited to a particular type of crime, sentence or constitutional provision. Adoption of the state’s interpretation of the Texas statute would make Texas an outlier, allowing for the prosecution of youth as adults based on age and charge alone without an individualized determination of the youth’s maturity level and capacity for change and rehabilitation. Public policy and public opinion overwhelmingly oppose automatic transfer to adult court and mandatory imposition of adult sentences on youth.

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Peri Alkas, Phelps Dunbar, LLP, Houston, TX; Lourdes M. Rosado, Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia, PA.