A Temple University expert named Laurence Steinberg is convincingly advocating for reform of the juvenile justice system based on recent neurological research on adolescent brain development. His core argument is that young people who commit juvenile crime should be held accountable, but not necessarily in the ways the system attempts to do so currently.
The Wisconsin legislature recently passed a flurry of legislation as their 2011-2012 floor session came to an end in March. Among the measures passed by both the Assembly and Senate was SB 173, which is directed at various issues related to juvenile crime.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion about a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling which will protect the rights of minors accused of a juvenile crime. The Court recently ruled that minors who are questioned as a suspect in a crime must be considered "in custody" and have their Miranda Rights read to them by law enforcement officials.
Anyone who has watched a police drama has heard: "you have the right to remain silent." This speech is known as the "Miranda Rights." Since 1966, police have been required to read a suspect their Miranda Rights at the time of arrest. The goal is to inform a suspect that he doesn't have to incriminate himself by answering police questions.
Last week, we began a series of posts about the difficulties and controversies of sentencing juvenile offenders for serious crimes such as murder. Most juvenile crimes are generally sentenced lightly, with the understanding that minors make mistakes and should be allowed to reform as they grow older.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion about the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision to uphold a sentence of life without parole for a man who committed first-degree murder when he was just 14 years old. The recent ruling highlights Wisconsin's difficult and often controversial viewpoints about how to punish juvenile crime.
In January, we wrote that the Wisconsin Supreme Court was reviewing an unusual and difficult case of juvenile crime. The Court needed to decide whether or not to uphold a sentence of life without parole for a man who killed another teenager when he was only 14 years old.
When it comes to handling crimes committed by children and juveniles there are often no clear guidelines. Prosecutors must ask themselves many questions about the child's age as well as his maturity level. They are also left to wonder if the child can even understand that what he has done is wrong.