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Criminal Justice: Juveniles, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 769

Essay

Juveniles are treated differently as compared to adult criminals. This is because most juveniles engage in petty cases and are not fully matured as to make good decisions.  There are different types of cases under the juvenile cases. They include delinquency, emancipation, dependency, expunction and termination of parental rights. John Black’s case is a delinquency case. This is because he committed crime. John was found with a gun in school; this is not a rare case in American society due to the easy access to guns. John broke the law by bringing the gun to school yet most American schools have been declared gun-free zones. John said that he was being harassed by his classmate and that is why he brought the gun to school. This shows that he had the intentions of committing a felony with the gun.

Juveniles are entitled to various rights. The right to Miranda warning is one of the core rights in the juvenile system. This warning informs the juvenile that he has the right to stay silent and anything he says might be used against him in court. Miranda right also stipulates that the juvenile is entitled to hire a lawyer and if he cannot afford, an attorney will be appointed for him. The second right entitled to juveniles is the right to receive advanced notice of the charges he is being accused of. The notice should come in time so that the juvenile will be well prepared (McShane, 2003)

Juveniles have the right to have an attorney during the hearing. The jury will ask the juvenile if he wants to waive counsel, the juvenile should say ‘no’ if he wants the attorney present. Juveniles are entitled to a trial. Once a juvenile is accused of a crime, that does not mean he is guilty yet. He should not admit to committing them so that he can have a fair trial. Juveniles have the right against self-incrimination. This right states that the juvenile does not have to say anything that might be used to incriminate him. If he is asked questions that might incriminate him, he should refuse to answer. Lastly, juveniles have the right to appeal the case. If the juvenile is found guilty, he can appeal the case at a higher court within a period of 30 days.

The process of arresting a juvenile who possesses a gun starts with a search. John Black was searched by the principal after two of his classmates reported the incident. John backpack was searched since he was in school and the principal has the right to search. The principal informed the police, because John’s case was quite dangerous. The police will transport the juvenile to the juvenile detention center where he will be interrogated. However, if the case is not serious the child will be released and the probation officer will follow up on the case. Once in the juvenile detention facility, the juvenile will be searched for any weapon and drugs before being interrogated. A juvenile officer should be present in order to advise the juvenile on how to react to the questions and make him aware of his rights. The questions being asked depend on the age of the juvenile. The interrogation should be halted if the juvenile requests the presence of an adult, his parents or the attorney. Juveniles who have committed serious crimes will be held in the detention facility as they await trial (McCord, 2001).

Juvenile cases began as early as 1967 when a 15-year-old Gerald Francis Gault was charged for making an indecent call to his neighbor. The court sentenced him to State Industrial School until he was 21. The victim was not even present during the trial and the court relied on hearsay in reaching its verdict. The case was in Arizona and it did not allow juvenile appeals. The McGhee Gila County Superior court filed an appeal on first grounds on the following basis; the Arizona court was being unconstitutional because it did not notify Gerard or his parents about the trial and the fact that it did not allow appeal. The case went to the Supreme Court; in a landmark decision, the Supreme Court decided that juveniles should be accorded the same rights as adults.

Another juvenile case that has brought changes to the juvenile system is the case of Roper vs. Simmons, 543 U.S 551(2005). The verdict of the case was that capital punishment does not apply among juveniles.

References

McCord, J. (2001). Juvenile crime, juvenile justice. National Academy Press

McShane, D. (2003). Encyclopedia of juvenile justice. New York, NY: Sage

Shoemaker, D. (2009). Juvenile delinquency. New York, NY: Rowman and Littlefield publishers.

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