The Effect Of Landmark Supreme Court Cases — страница 2

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custody, psychological evaluations were conducted on him. The professionals that conducted the test determined Kent to be a victim of psychopathology. The juvenile court judge in the case did not confer with Kent?s mother. Kent?s attorney was also left out of any conference. The judge transferred Kent to adult court where he was subsequently convicted. Kent?s lawyers appealed ultimately to the U.S. Supreme Court (Rubin 146). The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court and ordered that adequate hearings be provided for juveniles that were being considered for transfer to adult court. The court also ruled that juveniles were entitled to an attorney during the hearings, and the attorney would have full access to any records of the juvenile. The Kent decision

was the beginning of due process in juvenile justice (Rubin 146). Perhaps the most influential U.S. Supreme Court decision on the juvenile justice system was the Gault decision. In 1964 Gerald Gault and his friend, Ronald Lewis, were arrested in Arizona for illegally making obscene phone calls. Gault was on probation at the time for an earlier offense. When Gault and Lewis were taken into custody, Gault?s parents were not notified. Gault?s parents later learned about the incident but could not get any information from authorities (Schmalleger 544-545). During the initial hearing, Gault?s statement was the only evidence presented. The juvenile officer testified as to what the complainant alleged. The complainant was not present and Gault was not represented by counsel. Gault

admitted to making the phone call, but added that his friend, Lewis, did all the talking. During a second hearing, Gault?s mother requested that the complainant be present. The judge denied the request. Gault was adjudicated delinquent and remanded to a industrial school until his 21st birthday (Inciardi 696). On appeal, eventually to the U.S. Supreme Court, Gault?s attorneys argued that his due process of the law was denied. The appeal focused on six issues: Right to counsel, notice of charges, right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, protection against self incrimination, right to a transcript, and right to appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Gault?s favor on four of the six issues. The court did not agree with the right to a transcript and the right to an appeal

(Inciardi 696). The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that transcripts were not produced in an adult misdemeanor case, therefore not considered a constitutional right. The court also ruled against the right to an appeal. The court said that the right to an appeal was granted at the state level (Inciardi 696). Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt must be proved in an adult criminal court. However, in a juvenile court, a 12-year-old boy named Winship was taken into custody for illegally entering a locker and stealing money from a purse. A New York Family Court judge found Winship delinquent based only on the preponderance of the evidence. Preponderance of the evidence is the same standard used in civil courts. Winship?s punishment was 18 months in a training school that could be extended to his

18th birthday if the court felt it necessary. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled that allegations of delinquency must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. The court allowed the continued use of the lower standard, preponderance of the evidence, in adjudicating juveniles for status offenses (Cox 276). The Guilt and Winship cases extended several constitutional rights to juveniles but not all. In the case McKeiver v. Pennsylvania, Joseph Mckeiver, age 16, was taken into custody and charged with robbery, larceny, and receiving stolen property. Mckeiver was with 20 or 30 other juveniles who took 25 cents from three boys. He had no previous record and had a good established work history. Mckeiver?s attorney requested a jury trial. His request was

denied by the judge. Mckeiver was eventually adjudicated a delinquent and sent to a youth development center (Feld 139-140). After several appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case and held the lower court?s decision. The U.S. Supreme court said it would be a mistake to require juries in a juvenile trial. Juvenile trials are fact finding functions, not to determined guilt or innocence. However, the decision did not prohibit jury trials in the juvenile justice system. Certain states do allow jury trials for juveniles (Feld 139-140). The fifth and fourteenth Amendments protect citizens from double jeopardy. But does the double jeopardy extend to the juvenile adjudication? In the 1971 case Breed v. Jones, a complaint was filed against Jones alleging that he committed robbery.