Friday, November 15, 2013

In re Tyvonne case brief

In re Tyvonne case brief summary
558 A.2d 661 (1989)

In a petition for an adjudication of delinquency, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Hartford-New Britain, Juvenile Matters at Hartford (Connecticut) and tried to that court, respondent juvenile appealed from a judgment adjudicating him a delinquent and committing him to the custody of the department of children and youth services, a judgment entered after the juvenile's motion for judgment of acquittal was denied.

The juvenile, who was an eight-year-old boy, and the victim, another child, began arguing over whether a pistol that the juvenile had found was real. The victim challenged the respondent again by saying, "Shoot me, shoot me." The juvenile exclaimed, "I'll show you it's real." He then pointed the pistol at the victim, pulled the trigger, and fired one shot, which struck and injured her.

The trial court made an adjudication that the juvenile was a delinquent based on a finding that he had committed assault in the second degree in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-60(a)(2).


  • On appeal, the court held that the common law defense of infancy did not apply to juvenile delinquency proceedings. 
  • The court was not persuaded by the juvenile's proposition that the juvenile justice system punished rather than rehabilitated so that there was no good reason not to recognize incapacity as a defense. 
  • The court rejected the juvenile's argument to the effect that the common law presumption that children between the ages of 7 and 14 were incapable of committing a crime should apply because the offense charged was a serious juvenile offense.

The court found no error.

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