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Name: People v. Thomas
Case #: S118052
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 04/18/2005

When a minor is charged with certain serious criminal offenses, the prosecutor can file the charges against the minor directly in the criminal division of the superior court (criminal court) and prosecute the minor as an adult. (See Welf. & Inst. Code, secs. 602, subd. (b), 707, subd. (d).) If the minor is convicted, the criminal court has discretion under section 1170.19, subd. (a)(4), to “order a juvenile disposition under the juvenile court law, in lieu of a sentence under [the Penal] code” [often referred to as “reverse remand”] — but only if the prosecutor consents to that disposition. The Supreme Court held that the prosecutorial consent provision is invalid because it violates California’s separation of powers doctrine (Cal. Const., art. III, sec. 3). However, the trial court’s discretionary authority under Penal Code section 1170.19, subd. (a), to commit a minor convicted as an adult to the Youth Authority applies only when the minor meets the eligibility requirements of Welfare and Institutions Code sec. 1732.6.