CJ150: Juvenile Delinquency
There are many similarities and differences between the adult and juvenile justice systems. Although juvenile crimes have increased in violence and intensity in the last decade, there is still enough difference between the two legal proceedings, and the behaviors themselves, to keep the systems separated. There is room for changes in each structure. However, we cannot treat/punish juvenile offenders the way we do adult offenders, and vice versa. This much we know. So we have to find a way to merge between the two. And, let’s face it; our juveniles are more important to us in the justice system. They are the group at they impressionable age that can be changed; altered into a life separated from crime, where as adults are much harder to transform and rehabilitate.
Some similarities between the two include the right to an attorney, the right to due process, the right against self-incrimination, the right to be notified of charges against them, and the prosecution must provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict them. They can plea bargain and appeal in much the same way as an adult on trial can. Should juveniles be afforded the same legal rights as an adult offender? Juveniles did not receive as many rights until the 1960’s, when juvenile crime increased, and trials became more formal. Obviously, the juvenile courtroom has begun to mirror the adult form in many ways over the years, but only when the heinousness of the act allows it to do so. However, the majority of that is to ensure that juveniles are afforded as many constitutional rights as they should be to ensure justice is properly served from the courts, and to maintain their protection from unethical treatment. As juvenile crimes have become increasingly brutal over the years, it is important that if a juvenile commits
a big boy crime, and potentially faces a big boy...