skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 221012 Find in a Library
Title: Examining the Influence of Matza's Principles of Justice and Their Impact on Reverse Waiver Decisions: Has Kadi-(In)Justice Survived?
Journal: Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice  Volume:6  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:59-82
Author(s): John D. Burrow
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 24
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using a sample of 530 juvenile offenders who were transferred to adult court, this study applied David Matza's (1964) principles of justice to judges' criteria for ultimately sentencing these offenders as juveniles ("reverse waiver") or adults.
Abstract: Matza's principle of offense seriousness as a factor in just sentencing was reflected in the finding that with the exception of amenability to treatment, having been charged with homicide was the strongest predictor for sentencing as an adult. Matza's principle of age and maturity (awareness of and opportunity to learn from one's actions) as a factor in just sentencing was also evident in judge's sentencing decisions. This was evident in the reluctance of judges to sentence young juveniles/first offenders as adults. Matza's principle of judicial competence, i.e., a judge's experience on the bench, was also evident in sentencing decisions; judges who had more experience in handling juvenile transfer cases were less likely to sentence juvenile offenders as adults. Matza also emphasized the importance of resisting extralegal factors in sentencing considerations. The findings of the current study, however, showed that despite the importance of purely legal predictors, such as the nature of the offense, there were some extralegal factors that influenced sentencing decisions, such as the race of the judge and sex of the victim. All of the offenders involved in this study were waived to criminal court between 1988 and 1996 through the direct file mechanism provided by Michigan statutes. Under Michigan law, prosecutors can waive juvenile offenders to adult court when they are between 14 and 18 years old and have committed an offense that carries a life sentence if committed by an adult. Sentencing outcome was measured by whether the offender was sentenced as a juvenile ("reverse waiver") or an adult. 5 tables, 10 notes, and 85 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): Judicial discretion; Juvenile sentencing; Michigan; Sentencing factors; State laws
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.