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NCJ Number: 199605 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Crime, Adult Adjudication, and the Death Penalty: Draconian Policies Revisited
Journal: Justice Policy Journal: Analyzing Criminal and Juvenile Justice Issues and Policies  Volume:1  Issue:2  Dated:Spring 2003  Pages:3-22
Author(s): Randall G. Shelden; Michelle Hussong
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 20
Document: PDF
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article critiques the state of the juvenile justice system and offers an historical overview of its many incarnations.
Abstract: The current trend of imposing extremely punitive sanctions, including the death penalty, on juvenile offenders reflects a throwback to draconian policies. Such “get tough” policies are not only inherently cruel, but do not even act as a general or a specific deterrent. In making this case, the authors offer a historical overview of juvenile justice, including an examination of the most relevant historical cases involving juveniles. The authors argue that juvenile justice policies are cyclical in nature, and as such, much is to be learned from examining earlier cases that have left their mark on the juvenile justice landscape; cases such as People v. Turner and Commonwealth v. Fisher. The authors further argue that the public perceptions about the nature of juvenile crimes have an impact on current juvenile justice policies. Perceptions of juvenile crimes, the authors contend, are shaped by moral panic rather than reality. They discuss the three characteristics of moral panics and then describe how juvenile justice policies have been shaped by recent moral panics. Next, the authors outline the current trend of waiving juveniles to adult courts and penitentiaries. They contend that the “get tough” policies on youthful offenders have disproportionately targeted Black and other minority youth, as well as working class youths. A review of the recent research literature is offered to show the justice systems’ discriminatory practices. Finally, in this article the authors discuss death penalty convictions and executions that have been levied against juvenile offenders and then they examine how the current punitive trend in juvenile justice violates international laws and treaties. In conclusion, the authors contend that the recent trends in juvenile justice reflect the growing inequalities and racism that abound in our society. References
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): History of juvenile justice; Juvenile capital punishment; Juvenile justice standards; Race-punishment relationship
Note: Downloaded on March 20, 2003.
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