Trying Juveniles in Adult Courts

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Trying Juveniles in Adult Courts Jeffrey Bellamy Saint Leo University Introduction to Forensic Psychology Dr. Ann Moriarty May 28, 2014 Abstract The decision to try juvenile offenders in adult criminal court vary from state to state. “A total of 29 (twenty-nine) states have statutes that simply exclude some juvenile-age offenders from the jurisdiction of their courts” (Griffin, Addie, Adams, & Firestine, 2011, p. 6). In other words, most states statutorily exclude juvenile’s charged with a serious felony offense, such as murder, from juvenile criminal court, depending on their age. There are several advantages as well as disadvantages trying child crimes in adult courts. The decisions can be far reaching and may have a significant impact on a juvenile, since their reasoning skills are lacking compared to that of an adult. Pros From a social standpoint, it can be an advantage to society to have such crimes, as example above, tried in criminal adult courts. It doesn’t appear that there was much in the way that the conviction of Lionel Tate served society since he was later released on appeal and given probation, however, he was later found guilty of violating his probation on a robbery charge and sentenced to prison (Aguayo, 2006). In other words, juveniles that commit such heinous crimes should be tried in adult’s court. These types of decisions to try juveniles in adult court serve society in terms of placing these individuals in custody for potential rehabilitation and introduction back into society. According to Kathleen Michon, one of the advantages of trying a juvenile case in criminal courts is that “minors have the right to a jury trial in adult court” [since] most states do not provide a jury trial for juveniles (Michon, 2014, p. 2). Michon also suggests that juveniles will be more apt to receive a “sympathetic jury” (Michon,
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