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NCJ Number: 202028 Find in a Library
Title: Still Seeking the Promise of Gault: Juveniles and the Right to Counsel
Journal: Criminal Justice  Volume:18  Issue:2  Dated:Summer 2003  Pages:22-27
Author(s): Robert E. Shepherd Jr.
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 6
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines a juvenile's due process rights and the right to counsel, especially following the 1967 Supreme Court decision in In re Gault.
Abstract: The history of juvenile courts is discussed and the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kent v. United States is described as a historic decision for fundamental issues of fairness in juvenile court processes. Before the decision, and even following it, juveniles were routinely denied the right to counsel and to due process under the law. The article then discusses the landmark case of In re Gault, in which a 15-year-old juvenile was taken into custody without notice to his parents, detained, convicted by a judge, and committed to a juvenile detention facility until the age of 21 for making a lewd telephone call to a female neighbor. During this process he was not represented by legal counsel. The Supreme Court found that Gault’s constitutional rights had been violated. The article explains that following this decision, States have moved to implement a juveniles’ right to counsel, but have not insisted upon it as an absolute right. Many jurisdictions continue to advise juveniles to waive their right to counsel. In response to the advocacy efforts of many groups including the American Bar Association, Congress reauthorized the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1992, which addresses the importance of legal representation for juveniles. The article notes that as juvenile justice becomes more severe in its handling of cases, legal representation for juveniles is more important than ever.
Main Term(s): Juvenile due process; Right to counsel
Index Term(s): Juvenile justice reform; Juveniles; Local juvenile justice systems; US Supreme Court decisions
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