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NCJ Number: 161783 Find in a Library
Title: Right to a Public Jury Trial: A Need for Today's Juvenile Court
Journal: Children's Legal Rights Journal  Volume:15  Issue:3-4  Dated:(Summer/Fall 1995)  Pages:35-47
Author(s): J B Sanborn Jr
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 13
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper argues that the nature of current sentencing in juvenile courts requires that juveniles have the option of a public jury trial.
Abstract: Juvenile defendants currently are afforded nearly all the constitutional rights enjoyed by their adult counterparts at criminal trial; one exception is the right to a jury trial. The majority of juvenile courts deny defendants the rights to both a public trial and a jury trial. Juvenile courts have been able to avoid these aspects of the adversarial system because the U.S. Supreme Court declared more than 30 years ago in McKeiver v. Pennsylvania that juvenile courts differ from criminal courts, such that juvenile defendants do not have to be provided public or jury trials. The McKeiver opinion, even if it was sound in 1971, can no longer survive scrutiny. The adversarial and punitive nature of juvenile court proceedings has been widely recognized an accepted by national commissions that have examined the juvenile justice system. Moreover, although they constitute a minority of those processed by juvenile courts, significant numbers of juvenile defendants are purposely stigmatized by the court, subjected to long periods of incarceration, and sentenced more harshly as adult offenders because their juvenile records are factored into sentencing. For these individuals, juvenile court is neither benevolent nor fundamentally different from criminal court; therefore, their right to a public jury trial is critical. 2 tables and 80 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile courts
Index Term(s): Juvenile offenders; Juvenile sentencing; Right to trial by jury
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