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NCJ Number: 134856 Find in a Library
Title: Recent Issues in Juvenile Jurisdictional Waiver Hearings
Journal: Journal of Juvenile Law  Volume:12  Dated:(1991)  Pages:35-46
Author(s): J L Leeper
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 12
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The primary case that generated many State and Federal appellate decisions regarding juvenile jurisdiction waiver hearings was Kent v. United States.
Abstract: Kent was a juvenile with a history of delinquency who was interrogated by the police and who admitted that he participated in various offenses including housebreaking, robbery, and rape. The juvenile court for the District of Columbia entered an order, without a hearing, that transferred Kent to adult court where he was indicted on several different counts. Although the conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the conviction and remanded the case to the district court for a hearing de novo on the waiver issue. The Supreme Court held that the statute authorizing juvenile court jurisdictional waiver gave the juvenile court a substantial degree of discretion as to the facts to be considered and that a hearing on the issue of transfer was necessary. In State v. Bell, a Utah youth charged with robbery and attempted murder in adult court appealed the denial of his motion for the juvenile court to recall jurisdiction. The Supreme Court of Utah, however, refused to address the merits of the defendant's appeal, relying on the trial court's determination that the defendant received due process of law. These two cases, along with two others cite in the article, share a common theme: that satisfying a juvenile's constitutional rights in referring him or her to adult criminal court is not difficult. The focus has seemed to shift from protecting juvenile rights to protecting citizens from juvenile delinquency. According to recent U.S. Department of Justice statistics, there has been a steady increase in the percentage of juvenile offenders referred to criminal or adult court. 78 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile court jurisdiction; Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): District of Columbia; Right to Due Process; Rights of minors; US Supreme Court decisions; Utah
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