Juvenile Crime Issues in Today’s Criminal Justice System

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part 5
Special Issues
ISSUES FOR THE FUTURE
The accused has these common law, constitutional, statutory, and humanitarian rights that may be threatened by technological advances and other developments:
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chapter 15
Juvenile Justice

chapter 16
Drugs and Crime

chapter 17
Terrorism and Multinational Criminal Justice

chapter 18
The Future of Criminal Justice

These individual rights must be effectively balanced against these present and emerging community concerns: Widespread drug abuse among youth The threat of juvenile crime Urban gang violence High-technology, computer, and Internet crime (cybercrime) Terrorism and narcoterrorism Occupational and whitecollar crime

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A right to privacy A right to be assumed innocent A right
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We fight for their innocence and their dreams. It is a fight for our future.
—Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales

Our society’s fearful of our kids. I think we don’t know how to set limits on them. They begin to behave in severely outrageous ways, and nobody stops them.
—David York, cofounder of Toughlove International1

INTRODUCTION
A few years ago, 13-year-old Tavaris Knight was convicted by a criminal court jury in Tampa, Florida, of kidnapping and raping a 43-year-old woman. Prosecutors proved that Knight, who was 12 at the time of the offense, had used a silver toy gun to force the woman away from her four young children at a playground and into the surrounding woods. Knight raped the woman twice and beat her with the gun, which he left behind.2 Knight’s case had been transferred to adult criminal court because of the serious nature of his crimes. In closing arguments, prosecutor Michael Sinacore pointed to Knight, saying, “That young man is not a child. He stopped being a child when he forced [his victim] into the woods and raped her.”3 Following conviction, Knight was sentenced to 15 years in prison by Florida Circuit Judge Jack Espinosa, Jr. Knight will likely be held at a youth facility for sexual offenders until he is 21, at which time he could be transferred to another youth offender facility until the age of 25, followed by adult prison.4 Crimes committed by preteens are not that unusual. In 2005, for example, a nine-yearold girl,
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