Juvenile Delinquency

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Juvenile Delinquency is the participation of illegal behavior by a minor who falls under a statutory age limit. A delinquent is a minor who commits a crime or a status offense. A status offense is conduct that is illegal only because the child is under age i.e. smoking cigarettes (Senna 10, 20). The cases of Eric Smith, Lionel Tate, and an unidentified NJ child are similar only because, they are guilty of killing another child, but the Criminal Justice System treated and punished them very differently. In August 1993 in Savona, New York 13 year old Eric Smith killed 4 year old Derrick Robie. Smith lured Robie into the woods and strangled, beat with large rocks, and sodomized Robie. Smith was questioned by police and kept changing some …show more content…

If Tate had been tried as a juvenile he would have faced six to nine months in a juvenile facility, but as an adult he would face life without parole. The evidence was presented to the Grand Jury and they returned an indictment for first degree murder. Tate was offered a plea bargain for a guilty plea a few times, but his mother refused to accept it. Tate 's mother didn 't want to plead guilty because she believed her son that it was an accident. During the trial, the Tate 's defense tried to argue that the wrestling Tate watched on TV influenced him. The jury wasn 't convinced that it was an accident, because of the extent of Eunick 's injuries. Tate was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. In December 2003 Tate 's conviction was thrown out by an appeals court, because Tate wasn 't given a mental competency evaluation before or during his trial. In January 2004 Tate pled guilty to second degree murder. Tate was released and sentenced to 10 years ' probation, and one year house arrest. Tate didn 't receive any mental health counseling at all. In September 2004 Tate was arrested for possession of a weapon a knife. Tate was sentenced to an additional five years ' probation and was warned that another violation would land him in prison. In May 2005 Tate was arrested and charged with one count armed burglary with battery,

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