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Schall V. Martin Case Study

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“In 2008, police arrested an estimated 2.1 million persons under the age of 18. The majority of these juveniles (67%) were referred to juvenile court jurisdiction. The police used discretion to handle and release a portion (22%) of these youths” (Lopez 2016). That means that 273,000 juveniles were prosecuted and punished as adults, some even receiving life in prison. This begs the question should juveniles, regardless of offense, be tried as adults? When discussing juveniles, it is important to understand the legal protections that are afforded to persons less than eighteen years of age. Equally important is why these protections were deemed necessary. These protections are extremely significant and alter the way juveniles interact with the…show more content…
Martin. At the time of the incident, Martin was only fourteen years old. He was charged with robbery, assault, and weapons possession and was held in detention pending the trial because the court believed he might continue to commit crime given his past criminal history. It was perceived as though Martin was being convicted and presumed guilty. This violated the U.S. Constitution’s due process clause, because it essentially allowed for punishment without trial. Martin noted that most children subject to preventive detention either had their charges dismissed or were released immediately on being found guilty (Kempf,…show more content…
Many jurisdictions have responded with so called “get tough” legislation. This type of legislation is a staple in the Crime Control Era that has taken the place of the Juvenile Rights Era, which ended around 1980. One such piece of legislation was Michigan’s Juvenile Waiver Law of 1997. In Michigan, prior to 1988, seventeen year-olds were the only minors automatically tried as adults, all others stayed in juvenile courts that afforded them the benefits discussed earlier. However, in response to rising violence get tough reforms were imposed. Kids, as young as fifteen, were now being tried automatically as adults for serious crimes. Additionally, if convicted of first-degree murder the judge can then choose to sentence the youth to a juvenile facility until twenty-one years of age, or mandatory life in adult prison. Then in 1997, legislation got even tougher. Fourteen year olds were now automatically charged as adults for serious offenses. Additionally, adult courts can no longer chose juvenile sentencing. One senator who helped craft the tougher legislation stated, “it doesn’t matter so much whether it’s 12 or 14 or 50 or 60, the Juvenile justice reform act’s basic finding was that if you do the crime, you do the time” (Barnes 2011). The number of juveniles serving life in adult correctional facilities
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