2007 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Clark
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-21-559, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE RESPONSE TO DISCOVERY MOTIONS IN YOUTH COURT PROCEEDINGS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-21-559, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-21-559. (1) In arriving at its adjudicatory decision, the youth court shall consider only evidence which has been formally admitted at the adjudicatory hearing. All testimony shall be under oath and may be in narrative form. In proceedings to determine whether a child is a delinquent child or a child in need of supervision, the youth court shall admit any evidence that would be admissible in a criminal proceeding. In proceedings to determine whether a child is a neglected child or an abused child, the youth court shall admit any evidence that would be admissible in a civil proceeding.
(2) The youth court prosecutor shall respond to any motion for discovery by legal defense counsel for the minor no later than five (5) business days prior to the adjudicatory hearing.
(3) An out-of-court admission by the child, even if otherwise admissible, shall be insufficient to support an adjudication that the child is a delinquent child unless the admission is corroborated in whole or in part by other competent evidence.
(4) Members of the youth court staff may appear as witnesses except that no member of the youth court staff may testify as to an admission or confession made to him.
(5) At the conclusion of the evidence, the youth court shall give the parties an opportunity to present oral argument.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.