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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97528 Find in a Library
Title: Prosecution as a Juvenile or an Adult? Is the Discretion Vested in the District Attorney by Section 14-6-203(c) of the Wyoming Statutes Unconstitutional and Violative of the Proper Role of a Prosecutor?
Journal: Land and Water Review  Volume:19  Dated:(1984)  Pages:187-205
Author(s): J C Brinkerhoff
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 19
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines Section 14-6-203(c) of the Wyoming Statutes and discusses the power that section vests in the district attorney to exercise unrestricted discretion in deciding whether to charge a juvenile in juvenile court or to bring criminal charges in district court.
Abstract: The relevant part of the statute is cited; the legislature's failure to provide guidelines to assist the district attorney in deciding whether to deprive a juvenile of the protections of the Juvenile Court Act is noted. Limitations imposed on the prosecutor by statutory guidelines and by the proscription against arbitrariness are explored. The Cox v. United States decision is reviewed, the doctrine of parens patriae is discussed, and the lack of express references to parens patriae in Wyoming's current Juvenile Court Act is highlighted. Also presented is evidence that section 14-6-203(c) prevents the district attorney from considering the best interest of the child and of the State. The first two cases heard by the Supreme Court arising out of the juvenile justice system, Kent v. United States and In re Gault, are reviewed. Also examined are prosecutorial discretion; questions of procedural due process, equal protection, and fair treatment; and Wyoming legislative action and judicial response to section 14-6-203(c). Included are 131 case notes.
Index Term(s): Juvenile offenders; Prosecutorial discretion; State laws; Wyoming
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