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Appeals from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (Hon. Zoe E. Bush, Trial Judge)

Argued June 7, 2001

M.N.T., who was sixteen years old at the time, was adjudged delinquent following his plea of guilty to allegations that (among other things) he assaulted two correctional officers while confined at the Oak Hill Youth Center. At the disposition hearing, the Family Division judge permitted victim impact statements to be made orally by the two correctional officers, after which she ordered M.N.T. committed to Oak Hill for an indeterminate period not to exceed his twenty-first birthday, with release permitted only by order of the court. See D.C. Code � 16-2322 (a)(4) (1997). *fn1 On appeal, M.N.T. contends that the judge had no statutory or other authority to allow the introduction of victim impact statements in juvenile disposition proceedings. He further argues that, assuming the judge had authority to entertain such statements, M.N.T. was denied adequate notice of the government’s intent to offer the statements of the correctional guards and also a fair opportunity to present evidence countering them. We hold that, notwithstanding the limited relevance of victim impact statements to the purpose of rehabilitation that underlies the juvenile disposition hearing, the law does not prohibit the judge from admitting such statements at the hearing in the sound exercise of his or her discretion, provided that advance notice of the contents of the statements is given to the juvenile’s counsel as part of the predisposition investigation report.

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