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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200174 Find in a Library
Title: "Owing to the Extreme Youth of the Accused": The Changing Legal Response to Juvenile Homicide
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:92  Issue:3/4  Dated:Spring/Summer 2002  Pages:641-707
Author(s): David S. Tanenhaus; Steven A. Drizin
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 67
Type: Historical Overview; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study used early-20th-century homicide data from the Chicago Police Department, the era in which the modern juvenile justice came of age, to determine how Chicago's justice system responded to homicides committed by juveniles.
Abstract: The study first provides a brief overview of the foundational philosophy of the juvenile court movement and addresses the issue of whether the juvenile court actually heard cases of serious and violent juvenile offenders in the early 20th century. It then analyzed two cases to illustrate the influential role that the coroner's jury and the grand jury played in the handling of juvenile homicide cases. The historical section of the report concludes with an examination of the battles between the state's attorney and the juvenile court over jurisdiction in the 1920's and 1930's, which culminated in the Illinois Supreme Court supporting a system of concurrent jurisdiction that had been developing informally since the beginning of the century. Under this system of concurrent jurisdiction, which remained in place until the mid-1960's, either the juvenile court or the criminal court could hear the cases of juveniles who were accused of serious and violent offenses, including manslaughter and murder. The concluding section addresses current responses to juvenile homicide, compares current approaches with past practices in this area, and focuses on the central role that prosecutors now have in determining how juvenile cases are to be handled. After contrasting three recent cases of juvenile homicides with the ones discussed from the early 20th century, this study concludes with advice on what an analysis of the past can teach us about policies for current and future juvenile justice. 255 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile murderers
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Illinois; Juvenile court jurisdiction; Juvenile court waiver; Violent juvenile offenders
Note: For other documents related to this study, see NCJ-200171-73 and NCJ-200175-82.
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