Five major court cases that influenced our treatment of juveniles today include Kent v. United States (1966), In re Gault (1967), In re Winship (1970), McKeiver v. Pennsylvania (1971) and Breen v. Jones (1975). Kent v. United States (1966) set the standards for transfers. In this case, the judge ruled Kent to adult court without consulting with the child, the child’s mother or attorney. It was this case that determined the attorney has the right to review documentation presented by the probation officer. Thanks to In re Gault (1967), juveniles how have a right to due process during any proceedings in which a juvenile is facing institutional confinement. It was also outlined in In re Gault (1967) exactly what a juveniles rights are during the entire process. Key rights are being notified of the charges brought up against them, right to counsel and cross-examination of witnesses by the attorney’s.
The juvenile justice system is a foundation in society that is granted certain powers and responsibilities. It faces several different tasks, among the most important is maintaining order and preserving constitutional rights. When a juvenile is arrested and charged with committing a crime there are many different factors that will come in to play during the course of his arrest, trial, conviction, sentencing, and rehabilitation process. This paper examines the Juvenile Justice System’s court process in the State of New Jersey and the State of California.
With the escalation of murders and rapes committed by minors as seen in recent years the people are looking for the right answer. Public concern over the effectiveness of the juvenile courts when dealing with these offenders has brought about change in the justice system. (Stolba, 2001). The courts now, are quicker to transfer a juveniles’ case to adult court than when the juvenile system was first formed. There stands a conflict of interests within the two court systems. Juvenile courts are to protect the rights of youths determined incapable of adult decisions. The primary concern is that the youth be rehabilitated and not become a repeat offender. Thus, protecting the child from incarceration with adult criminals and any possible future victims. The concerns of the adult court is to make sure the convicted offender pays for their crime and that the victim gets justice. Rehabilitation is not a primary concer of the adult justice system.
As a contrast, there are many differences between the adult and juvenile justice system. These differences consist of the right to a jury, the right to post bail, leniency of evidence, different court proceedings, the right to a public trial, and rehabilitation efforts. As for the purpose of this paper, we will dissect the differences of the two systems. Many appeals have been filed under the notion that a right to a jury should be upheld for juvenile offenders. The courts have voted against this action time and time again. These appeals are made on the assumption that, as noted earlier, adult crimes should be tried as adult crimes. However, the court rules on this matter while keeping the rehabilitation efforts of the juvenile courts in mind, as opposed to the more punitive measures. Their desire to see kids treated as kids are defined with their upholding of the law, and pushing rehabilitation to its max. But should rehabilitation be the prime focus when the act is of adult capacity; even in a child’s body? I do not think so. What are the percentages of rehabilitation success with adults for committed capital offenses? How are they going to differ when a child partakes in them? I think there is a
The Juvenile Justice system, since its conception over a century ago, has been one at conflict with itself. Originally conceived as a fatherly entity intervening into the lives of the troubled urban youths, it has since been transformed into a rigid and adversarial arena restrained by the demands of personal liberty and due process. The nature of a juvenile's experience within the juvenile justice system has come almost full circle from being treated as an adult, then as an unaccountable child, now almost as an adult once more.
The juvenile criminal system is different than typical charges. Therefore, it’s important to procure representation from a legal team who understand the nuances of a juvenile case. Timothy A. Cook, Attorney at Law is just such a legal team. Contact them to learn more about juvenile cases and how they can help you
As stated in the sixth amendment, criminal defendants have the right to counsel by a jury and a lawyer which, are the defense attorneys. Defense attorneys represent children in court and are there for all the stages of the proceedings. They help with determining whether there is “sufficient evidence to warrant filing a formal petition” (Siegel and Welsh 353). The defense attorneys also help with the ruling and disposition of the case. The defense attorneys are there to help the child better his life by seeking out opportunities for alternative plans instead of jail. Although, the defense attorneys are there to help the child out a lot of the time the child does not seem to confide in state appointed attorneys; they believe that the state
The legal standard applied for competency in both juveniles and adults is defined by the U.S Supreme Court in Dusky v. U.S., 402 (Dusky v. United States, 362 U.S. 402, 1960), and affirmed in Godinez v. Moran (Godinez v. Moran, 113 St. Ct. 2680, 1993). Those standards include; “1). Sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding, 2). A rational as well as factual understanding of proceedings against him/her; and are a requirement applied under due process obligations. The application of these standards in practice require the juvenile to understand and appreciate the charges, potential pleas, and their consequences; understand and appreciate the roles of the participants in the trial process; the ability to understand communications from counsel and to have the ability to meaningfully communicate with counsel to aid in developing a defense; the ability to understand, appreciate, and make decisions about the waiver of important rights (ex. Miranda rights), especially decisions about pleading and plea agreements; and the ability to testify at trial if needed and are applied through out the legal process (Grisso, 2005, p. 7).” The standard to which juveniles are assessed in their abilities to meet these standards is still
Both systems share much of the same terminology even though there are some different terms that apply strictly to juveniles. Some of the terms, which apply to both juveniles and adults, are Appeal, Arrest, and Counsel. Appeal is an offender’s request to a higher court to reverse a lower court’s ruling. They must prove that the lower court committed an error, whether it was legal, factual, or procedural. Arrest will occur when an individual is taken into custody for committing a crime. An arrest is lawful only when there is probable cause the individual committed a crime. Counsel is a lawyer or team of lawyers who represent a client. Counsel for a juvenile is privately retained or appointed by the court.
In many cases like the previous the influence of the attorney and the means of counsel is a big factor in the accepting or declining of a plea deal. The Sixth amendment right, given to all who inhabit this country is the right to counsel is in many sense inadequate. The juvenile offenders are assigned an attorney; an attorney that they believe has their best wishes at mind. Many are unaware that the attorney they may receive has 4 times more than the federally recommended caseload for a defender. (Polakow-Suransky, 2002) The time the juvenile offenders spend with their attorney is average 10 to 12 minutes. After their first 10 to 12 minute counsel meeting more than 50% of juvenile offenders please guilty for their plea deals. A large issue is the defense these juveniles are receiving. The defenders are often excruciatingly over worked and vastly underpaid. Over time this leads to the lack of commitment and devotion for the cases of criminal court. The defenders spend little time even concerning themselves with the youth’s or their crimes and there is very little a teenager with no means of income can do about it. The lack of money in juvenile law seems to do the opposite of push juvenile defenders to do anything beyond the baseline. The results of these conditions are the substantial number of juveniles who sign or give away their rights with barley any counsel. The juvenile system is basically taking every with two alternatives in mind, getting them out or getting them in.
Although based on the adult criminal justice system, the juvenile justice process works differently. Juveniles can end up in court by way of arrest, truancy or for curfew violations or running away. A youth may also be referred to the juvenile court system by school officials or a parent or guardian for being continuously disobedient. The juvenile justice process involves several different steps including intake, detention, adjudication, disposition and aftercare following release from a juvenile correctional facility. In this paper we will breakdown the numerous steps involved in the juvenile justice process as well as compared some
“Adults who seek the counsel of an attorney waive their right to attorney/client privilege if they invite a third party into a meeting concerning their case. With juveniles, however, they can usually have a parent or guardian present during meetings without waiving the attorney/client privilege” (Thompson, 2006).
Many have argued that competency to stand trial is the “most significant mental health inquiry pursued in the system of criminal law” (Cowden & Mckee). This pillar of the American Legal System assures that those accused of criminal acts must be sufficiently competent to understand and partake in the trial proceedings. The threshold of competence can differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but it mainly hinges on a series of factors such as cognitive deficits, the presence of a mental illness, and an inability to comprehend or effectively communicate with legal counsel. While this standard was made legal precedent in the 1960s it was only in regards to the adult criminal system; however, in past decades legal reform has allowed for youths to be tried and subjected to the same punishments as adult defendants (Schwartz & Grisso). This legal development brings about a very imperative issue: Should youth offenders be subjected to the same standard of competence as their adult counterparts? Furthermore, since these statutes were developed for determining competency in adults, can they properly recognize the uniqueness of the youth population?
Every process has room for improvement, but the juvenile justice system can be altered by adding in possible solutions of what can be done to help this problem in American society. About 100 years ago, juveniles were always tried as adults. Now, that the government has altered the system for the better, the government knows that trying juveniles as adults is not always justified. It depends on the crime, but the majority of the time, juveniles are often always tried as juveniles, based solely on their age. Not only that has changed; the process of juvenile justice has changed as well to better help the juveniles in the system. The rights of juveniles in the system have changed so that the children can improve their lives once they are out of the system. Even though the process has changed and the rights have improved for the juveniles, there are still many improvements to be made. Studies show that recidivism rates are in fact going down, but the rate can always be better so that juveniles do not return to a life of crime.
On the other hand, the advocates of the juvenile system believe that because children are not fully mentally or physically developed, they are not therefore accountable for their actions in the same way as adults (Ainsworth, 1995, p.932-933). Juvenile criminality for them is “youthful illness” brought about by external forces like environment or impoverished living conditions. Donna Bishop, an advocate of the juvenile justice system, encourages states to give these juveniles “room to reform.” She believes that a policy that is designed to discard youth in the middle of the transition to adulthood is uncharacteristic of a fair government (Bishop, 2000, p. 159). Supporters of this kind of reform program for juveniles are not amenable to the transfer to adult court