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In re Dahl

Minnesota Supreme Court
278 N.W.2d 316 (1979)


Dahl (defendant) was seventeen years old when he shot a man and left him for dead next to a creek. He had no criminal history prior to this action except for a reckless driving charge. Dahl admitted his actions and was charged in juvenile court with first-degree murder. A petition was then filed with the county court to refer Dahl to criminal court where he would be tried as an adult for the murder. The petition was filed because individuals in the community were afraid for their lives should Dahl have been freed while the proceedings were occurring. There was evidence that Dahl was a marijuana user and that he had written a note stating that local citizens needed to be “terminated.” The county court assembled a three-judge panel that determined that Dahl should be tried as an adult in the criminal court. In this determination, there was no taking of any psychological data regarding Dahl’s state of mind. The court of appeals affirmed this determination. Dahl appealed to the state supreme court, claiming that he should be tried as a juvenile, not as an adult.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Scott, J.)

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