On December 29, 2021, the New Jersey Supreme Court released its decision in State v. Cynthia Rivera.
In this case, the defendant was sentenced for first-degree aggravated manslaughter, second-degree aggravated assault, and second-degree conspiracy to commit robbery.
Despite the fact that the defendant was nineteen years old and had no prior criminal record, the sentencing court found that she had not had time to be at risk to commit other offenses due to her youth.
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the sentencing court’s decision that she would have committed other criminal offenses if she had the opportunity was based on an impermissible presumption.
Therefore, the Court ruled that the defendant’s youth cannot be used as an aggravating factor at sentencing and only may be considered as a mitigating factor.