Brief Fact Summary.
Tyvonne tried to implement the assault defense in juvenile court after he shot another elementary school student.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
The defense of infancy can only be used in criminal proceedings where a juvenile is being tried as an adult.
Tyvonne was eight-years-old when he brought a pistol to school. When students teased Tyvonne claiming that the pistol was fake, Tyvonne proved that the pistol was real by shooting another person. Tyvonne was convicted for assault in the juvenile court for second-degree assault. Tyvonne appealed his conviction claiming that he should be able to use the infancy defense in juvenile court.
Whether the infancy defense can be used in a juvenile case?
No. The infancy defense is not available to juveniles. The decision of the lower courts are affirmed.
The presumptions of incapacity were created to avoid punishing those who, because of age, could not appreciate the moral dimensions of their behavior, and for whom the threat of punishment would not act as a deterrent.View Full Point of Law
Infancy is a common law defense and the defense of infancy does not apply to juvenile proceedings because juvenile proceedings are created by statute. Juvenile proceedings are not governed by common law and a juvenile defendant cannot be relieved of responsibility for their actions through the use of common law defenses. If Tyvonne were permitted to use the infancy defense, Tyvonne would not be held liable for his actions and would not be subject to rehabilitation.