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NCJ Number: 134860 Find in a Library
Title: Constitutional Rights in Juvenile Jurisdiction Waiver Hearings
Journal: Journal of Juvenile Law  Volume:12  Dated:(1991)  Pages:112-115
Author(s): J Leeper
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The transfer of cases from juvenile court to adult court jurisdiction often involves questions of whether a minor's constitutional rights are protected.
Abstract: Because juvenile courts traditionally function on a rehabilitative rather than on a punitive basis, juvenile court hearings are regarded as civil rather than criminal proceedings, and constitutional rights available to adults in criminal prosecutions are not always applicable to juveniles. The leading case in this area is Kent v. United States. The issue in Kent was whether the statute which set up juvenile court procedures satisfied the juvenile's constitutional rights. On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the District of Columbia statute allowing waiver was to be read in the context of constitutional principles related to due process and the right to counsel. The juvenile's due process rights were again considered in State v. Wright, a case involving a 17-year-old Iowa youth accused of sexual abuse and first-degree burglary. The State filed a motion to waive juvenile court jurisdiction, and the adult court convicted him of third-degree sexual abuse. Wright appealed on the grounds that his sixth and fourteenth amendment rights were violated. The court of appeals found that the juvenile's constitutional rights had been violated. The Wright court reaffirmed that the constitutional rights of minors in juvenile jurisdictional waiver hearings are not measured by the standard applied to criminal prosecutions. The court relied heavily on the fact that a waiver hearing is concerned only with the juvenile court's jurisdiction and not with guilt or innocence of the juvenile. The court also determined that the admission of relevant and material evidence, even hearsay, will not necessarily violate the juvenile's right to due process. 19 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile court jurisdiction; Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): District of Columbia; Iowa; Right to Due Process; Rights of minors; US Supreme Court decisions
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