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NCJ Number: 173910 Find in a Library
Title: Policies Regarding the Prosecution of Juvenile Murderers: Which System and Who Should Decide?
Journal: Law and Policy  Volume:18  Pages:issue (January-April 1996)-178
Author(s): J B Sanborn B,
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 28
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The prosecution of juvenile murderers is examined, with emphasis on different policies in different States and the implications of using the juvenile versus the adult court for these prosecutions and of extending the transfer power to the prosecutor versus the judge.
Abstract: The analysis revealed that in some locations the youth would have to be prosecuted in juvenile court and at worst to receive the most severe sanction available in that forum. In other locations the juvenile could have to be tried in adult court or could be sent there by either a judge or a prosecutor and would be eligible for an adult sentence, including the possibility of capital punishment. Extensive changes have recently taken place in juvenile murder prosecution. Most jurisdictions favor prosecuting relatively young juvenile murderers in criminal court. Prosecuting juvenile murderers in criminal court has been a readily available practice. A variety of policy considerations favor the criminal prosecution of juvenile murderers. Murder should be excluded from juvenile court jurisdiction because this behavior is beyond the juvenile justice system's condemnatory, adjudicative, and dispositional capabilities. Prosecuting murder in juvenile court undermines the system's ability to maintain a benevolent and rehabilitative framework. Just deserts or retribution considerations also favor the criminal prosecution of juvenile murderers. Finally, considerations of procedural justice and due process point to the need to prosecute juvenile murderers in criminal court. Two desirable controls over prosecutorial abuse would be the criminal court's initial review for sufficiency of evidence during the pretrial stage and the required return of the case to juvenile court should a trial conviction occur on a lesser charge. Tables, notes, list of cases cited, and 82 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile court procedures
Index Term(s): Judicial discretion; Juvenile court waiver; Juvenile justice policies; Juvenile murderers; Prosecutorial discretion
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