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Name: In re R.O.
Case #: B208117
Opinion Date: 08/25/2009
Division: 1
Citation: 176 Cal.App.4th 1493

Welfare and Institutions Code section 731, subdivision (c), which requires the court to consider the “facts and circumstances of the matter,” gives the juvenile court discretion to select a period of confinement that is less than the minimum mandatory indeterminate sentence. The juvenile court sustained a petition against the minor alleging first degree murder and use of a firearm, and committed him to DJF. Believing that it had no discretion in setting the term at anything less than than the indeterminate sentence applicable to an adult convicted of the same offense, it set the maximum period at 35 years. Interpreting section 731, subdivision (c), which states that the term of confinement is set by the court based upon the facts and circumstances of the matter that brought the juvenile to the jurisdiction of the court, the court found that although the maximum term may not exceed the maximum term of the adult offender, the juvenile court has the discretion to set a lesser term “based upon the facts and circumstances of the matter,” and remanded for resentencing.