11th district criminal appeals update: One juvenile case this week, with an interesting (for legal nerds) discussion of whether an order binding a juvenile over to be tried as an adult is a final appealable order.
In re: J.L., 2016-Ohio-644, Trumbull County
J.L. was charged with Aggravated Murder, Aggravated Burglary, Aggravated Robbery and Attempted Rape. The trial court bound him over to be tried as an adult. He appealed the bindover, and the State asked the appellate court to dismiss the appeal. You can only appeal a decision if it’s what’s known as a “final appealable order.” The Court says that bindovers are not final appealable orders per a 1974 Ohio Supreme Court case, and dismisses the appeal. J.L. can appeal the bindover along with any other issues if the case ends up with a conviction and sentence. Grendell, Rice. O’Toole dissents, noting that the law has changed since the 1974 case, and juvenile bindovers have not yet been re-analyzed under the new (1998) statute. Juvenile proceedings have a different goal than adult proceedings. The goal of adult proceedings is to secure justice. The goal of juvenile proceedings is not to find justice – rather, the fundamental and overriding goal of juvenile proceedings is to rehabilitate the child. Bindovers should now be considered final appealable orders, because once that juvenile enters the adult court system, there is no further review of his amenability to rehabilitation. He is treated as an adult. Further, should he have to wait until after a conviction and sentence to appeal, he will likely spend a significant time in prison waiting for that appeal – which, for a not yet mentally and emotionally mature juvenile, is irreparable harm.