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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77138 Find in a Library
Title: Violent Juveniles - The New York Courts and the Constitution
Journal: Columbia Human Rights Law Review  Volume:11  Dated:(Spring - Summer 1980)  Pages:51-62
Author(s): H A Levy
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The constitutional infirmities of New York State's Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 1978 are discussed.
Abstract: The act singles out 13 through 15-year-olds who have committed violent crimes for differential treatment from other youthful offenders. These youths will be tried in adult courts and will lose many of the special protections associated with juvenile treatment. They will receive longer sentences, be exposed to adult prisons, and face public trials instead of private proceedings. These consequences can be avoided only if a case is removed from the adult to the family court at the prosecutor's recommendation during the arraignment or after the verdict. The evidentiary insufficiency of the felony complaint is a basis for removal in the criminal court or the superior court. However, most important is the availability of removal on the motion of the defendant in the superior court. While most defendants can gain removal there without the consent of the district attorney if the court determines that removal would be in the interests of justice, defendants charged with second degree murder, armed felonies, first degree rape, and first degree sodomy are most disadvantaged. They cannot gain removal without the consent of the prosecutor; nor can the juvenile's background and prior contacts with the law be considered as mitigating factors. Yet the U.S. Constitution may require that a juvenile facing an adult trial and allowed a removal hearing be afforded the opportunity to have the case removed without the prosecutor's consent on the basis of a hearing considering just such mitigating factors. Other constitutional problems are also mentioned. It is suggested that the act be amended to provide for the possibility of removal after conviction without the consent of the prosecutor. Footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Juvenile codes; Juvenile court waiver; Juvenile designated felonies; Juvenile processing; New York; Rights of minors; Violent juvenile offenders
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