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NCJ Number: 164199 Find in a Library
Title: Kent Revisited
Journal: Juvenile Justice Update  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:(June/July 1996)  Pages:1-2,11-12
Author(s): O W Ketcham
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The author, whose 1961 decision to transfer a juvenile to stand trial as an adult and led to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Kent v. United States (1966), reflects on the meaning of the decision and its impact on Morris Kent's life.
Abstract: By a 5 to 4 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case of Kent v. United States, because "the Juvenile Court's order waiving jurisdiction was entered without compliance with required procedures." It was the first time the Supreme Court had ruled upon the operations and legal procedures of a juvenile court. Thus, "Kent" stands as a landmark in efforts to convert the juvenile court from a social service organization to a court of justice where due process of law prevails. Kent was already 21 years old by the time the U.S. Supreme Court published its opinion, so the case could not be remanded to juvenile court, where jurisdiction ended on his 21st birthday. Thus, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with instructions to hold a waiver hearing de novo in accordance with the procedural rulings of its opinion. This was done, and the district court held that "the waiver of Morris A. Kent was, on the merits, appropriate and proper and entirely consistent with the purposes of the Juvenile Court Act." Kent was found guilty of six counts of housebreaking and robbery, but not guilty by reason of insanity on the two counts of rape. Kent was transferred to St. Elizabeth Hospital in March 1963. He remained under treatment there until early 1968. He subsequently married and had children and lives apparently crime-free.
Main Term(s): Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile processing; US Supreme Court decisions
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