Juvenile Delinquency Essays
[CLASS-SECTION] – Juvenile Delinquency
There have been many significant rulings made by the Supreme Court involving juvenile rights in the juvenile court system which attempt to balance parens patriae and juvenile rights. The cases involving Morris Kent, Jr., Gerald Gault, Samuel Winshhip, and McKeiver stand out as most significant in the effort to strike this delicate balance.
The 1961 Case of Morris Kent, Jr. (“Kent”) (in re Kent, 383 U.S. 541 (1966) involves juvenile rights to a full investigation before a determination of waiver of trial is made. Kent confessed to the crime of rape and robbery and the judge automatically waived his case to criminal case without investigation or verification of the facts. Kent’s lawyer argued that the waiver was invalid without a proper investigation being conducted, thus, the waiver violated Kent’s due process rights as guaranteed by the fourteenth Amendment. Upon appeal Kent lost, as the appeals court stated the ruling in juvenile court was not a violation of his juvenile rights.
The Supreme Court disagreed. They overturned the ruling of the appellate court, ruling the waiver invalid, and stated that Kent was “entitled to a hearing . . . In other words, Kent or his counsel should have had access to all records involved in making the decision to waive the case, and the judge should have provided written reasons for the waiver” (Cox, Conrad & Allen, 2003, p. 10).
The case of Gault v. Arizona, 387 U.S. 1, 13 , 1436 (1967), furthered the juvenile rights afforded through the Kent case by questioning parens patriae (Cox, Conrad & Allen, 2003, p. 10). “In this case, and in the Kent case, the Court raised serious questions about the concept of parens patriae or the right of the state to informally determine the best interests of juveniles” (Cox, Conrad & Allen, 2003, p. 10).
Gerald Gault (“Gault”) was a 15 year old
References: Louisiana State University (2006). In re Winship. Paul M. Herbert Law Center. Retrieved 22 Nov 2006 from http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cphl/articles/hastings/hastings-2_-2.htm Siegel, L., & Welsh, B. (2005). Juvenile delinquency: the core. 2nd ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.