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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99108 Find in a Library
Title: Too Many Right or Not Enough? A Study of the Juvenile Related Decisions of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
Journal: Journal of Juvenile Law  Volume:8  Issue:1  Dated:(1984)  Pages:32-57
Author(s): P Mones
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 26
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following a review of the major themes addressed in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision of In re Gault, this article reviews the philosophy of juvenile rights articulated in cases heard by the West Virginia State Court of Appeals.
Abstract: In Gault, the Court supported the proposition that juveniles are entitled to solicitous care and treatment, but rejected the historic rationale of the juvenile court system that accused juveniles did not possess a liberty interest and therefore, need not be accorded due process of law. In the 1977 decision in State ex rel. Harris v. Calendine, the West Virginia Court held that the substantive due process clause required that the State demonstrate that its exercise of parens patriae legitimately promoted the rehabilitation and protection of children. Following Harris, the State revamped its juvenile code. The right to least restrictive treatment now was afforded to status offenders and adjudicated delinquents. The majority of post-Harris cases can be seen as attempts to clarify the basic principles enunciated in Harris, particularly the concept of least restrictive alternative, the roles of attorneys and judges at the dispositional stage, grounds for secure treatment, and juvenile right to counsel. The turmoil over juvenile rights is the result of attempts to correct years of abuse. Harris and subsequent cases caused the most severe problems for judges, attorneys, and law enforcement personnel who were used to the old system. The decisions in Harris and subsequent cases proved a source of discomfort for those who believe that the child's immaturity is grounds for according juveniles fewer rights than adults. With only one exception, West Virginia cases demonstrate the court's willingness to extend to children those rights necessary for effective treatment and rehabilitation. A total of 133 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Judicial decisions; Rights of minors; State courts; US Supreme Court decisions; West Virginia
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