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NCJ Number: 52061 Find in a Library
Title: TOWARD A CODE OF DISCOVERY FOR JUVENILE DELINQUENCY PROCEEDINGS
Journal: INDIANA LAW JOURNAL  Volume:50  Issue:4  Dated:(1975)  Pages:808-825
Author(s): M P GRAY
Corporate Author: Indiana University
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47401
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A MODIFIED VERSION OF CIVIL DISCOVERY PROCEDURES IS SUGGESTED AS A SYSTEM OF DISCOVERY FOR THE ADJUDICATIVE PHASE OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY PROCEEDINGS.
Abstract: DISCOVERY REFERS TO THE DISCLOSURE OF EVIDENCE BETWEEN THE OPPOSING SIDES IN A CASE. THE ADJUDICATIVE PHASE OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY PROCEEDINGS IS THE FACTFINDING HEARING--THE DETERMINATION OF WHETHER THE YOUTH HAS COMMITTED THE SPECIFIC ACTS CHARGED. THE U.S. SUPREME COURT'S GROWING INSISTENCE ON MORE ACCURATE FACTFINDING PROCEDURES IN DELINQUENCY PROCEEDINGS, TOGETHER WITH THE PROVEN EFFECTIVENESS OF CIVIL DISCOVERY PROCEDURES AS FACTFINDING TOOLS AND THE NEAR UNIVERSAL CLASSIFICATION OF JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS AS CIVIL, HAS INDUCED ATTEMPTS TO EMPLOY CIVIL DISCOVERY TECHNIQUES IN DELINQUENCY PRODEEDINGS. THE QUESTION OF DISCOVERY IN JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS HAS BEEN POSED AS A CHOICE BETWEEN CIVIL OR CRIMINAL PROCEDURES. YET NEITHER APPROACH IS FULLY SUITABLE. CIVIL DISCOVERY, AS APPLIED IN THE ORDINARY CIVIL SUIT, IS NOT APPROPRIATE IN A DELINQUENCY PROCEEDING THAT MAY LEAD TO INCARCERATION. ON THE OTHER HAND, CRIMINAL DISCOVERY SEVERELY LIMITS A DEFENDANT'S PRETRIAL ACCESS TO WITNESSES AND INFORMATION. IT IS PROPOSED THAT CIVIL DISCOVERY, MODIFIED TO COMPORT WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS OF JUVENILE COURT SYSTEMS, BE ADOPTED FOR THE ADJUDICATIVE PHASE OF DELINQUENCY PROCEEDINGS. BECAUSE THE BILATERAL NATURE OF CIVIL DISCOVERY, BY AFFORDING THE STATE EQUAL USE OF DISCOVERY TECHNIQUES, WOULD CONFLICT WITH THE JUVENILE'S PRIVILEGE AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION, THE RECIPROCITY OF CIVIL DISCOVERY WOULD HAVE TO BE MODIFIED SO THAT DISCOVERY WOULD BE VIRTUALLY UNILATERAL IN FAVOR OF THE JUVENILE IN ALL AREAS RELATING TO THAT PRIVILEGE. BECAUSE THE DELAY CHARACTERISTIC OF CIVIL DISCOVERY WOULD CONFLICT WITH THE TRADITIONAL JUVENILE COURT EMPHASIS ON SPEEDY ADJUDICATION, MODIFICATIONS LIMITING THE PERIODS OF TIME ALLOWED FOR INITIATING AND RESPONDING TO REQUESTS FOR PREHEARING DISCOVERY WOULD BE NECESSARY. SPECIAL RULES FOR JUVENILE DISCOVERY, WHETHER FORMALLY ADOPTED AS A CODE OR TAILORED JUDICIALLY WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE COURT'S INHERENT CONTROL OF TRIAL AND PRETRIAL PROCEDURES, COULD PROVIDE FOR FULL DISCLOSURE OF RELEVANT EVIDENCE, LIMITED ONLY BY THE JUVENILE COURT'S INSTITUTIONAL INSISTENCE ON SPEEDY DISPOSITION AND BY THE JUVENILE'S CONSTITUTIONAL PRIVILEGE AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION. CASE LAW SUGGESTING OBJECTIONS TO THE USE OF FULL CIVIL DISCOVERY TECHNIQUES IN JUVENILE ADJUDICATION--INHERENT DELAY, LIMITS ON RECIPROCITY OF DISCOVERY, POSSIBILITY OF ABUSE--IS REVIEWED, AND THE PROPOSED MODIFIED SYSTEM OF DISCOVERY IS TESTED AGAINST EACH OF THE MAJOR OBJECTIONS. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE OBJECTIONS ARE NOT PERSUASIVE AND WOULD NOT POSE AN IMPEDIMENT TO ADOPTING A MODIFIED CODE OF CIVIL DISCOVERY FOR USE IN JUVENILE DELINQUENCY ADJUDICATION. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)
Index Term(s): Juvenile adjudication; Pretrial discovery
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