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Lecture 5

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Department
Law
Course
LAWS 3307
Professor
John Hale
Semester
Summer

Description
LECTURE 57JURISDICTION CONTDNYT editorial July 28 2009 httpwwwnytimescom20090728opinion28tue1htmlemceta1 TheSupremeCourtsentanimportantmessagewhenitruledinRopervSimmonsin2005thatchildrenundertheageof18whentheircrimeswerecommittedwerenoteligibleforthedeathpenaltyJusticeAnthonyKennedydrewoncompassioncommonsenseandthescienceoftheyouthfulbrainwhenhewrotethatitwasmorallywrongtoequatetheoffensesofemotionallyundevelopedadolescentswiththeoffensesoffullyformedadultsThestateshavefollowedthislogicindeathpenaltycasesButtheyhavecontinuedtometeoutbarbarictreatmentincludinglifesentencestochildrenwhosecasesshouldrightlybehandledthroughthejuvenilecourtsCongresscanhelptocorrectthesepracticesbyamendingtheJuvenileJusticeandDelinquencyPreventionActof1974whichisupforCongressionalreauthorizationthisyearTogetashareofdelinquencypreventionmoneythelawrequiresthestatesandlocalitiestomeetminimumfederalprotectionsforyouthsinthejusticesystemTheseprotectionsareintendedtokeepasmanyyouthsaspossibleoutofadultjailsandprisonsandtosegregatethosethataresenttothoseplacesfromtheadultcriminalpopulationThecasefortougherlegislativeactionislaidoutinanalarmingnewstudyofchildren13andunderintheadultcriminaljusticesystemtheleadauthorofwhichisthejuvenilejusticescholarMicheleDeitchoftheLyndonBJohnsonSchoolofPublicAffairsattheUniversityofTexasatAustinAccordingtothestudyeverystateallowsjuvenilestobetriedasadultsandmorethan20statespermitpreadolescentchildrenasyoungas7tobetriedinadultcourtsThisisterriblepublicpolicyChildrenwhoareconvictedandsentencedasadultsaremuchmorelikelytobecomeviolentoffendersandtoreturntoanadultjaillateronthanchildrentriedinthejuvenilejusticesystemDespitethesewellknownriskspolicymakersacrossthecountrydonothavereliabledataonjusthowmanychildrenarebeingshuntedintotheadultsystembystatestatutesorprosecutorswhohavethediscretiontofilecasesintheadultcourtsButthereisreasonablyreliabledatashowingjuvenilecourtjudgessendabout80childrenages13andunderintotheadultcourtseachyearThesestatisticsexplodethemyththatthosechildrenhavecommittedespeciallyheinousactsThedatasuggestforexamplethatchildren13andunderwhocommitcrimeslikeburglaryandtheftarejustaslikelytobesenttoadultcourtsaschildrenwhocommitseriousactsofviolenceagainstpeopleAshasbeenshowninpreviousstudiesminoritydefendantsaremorelikelytogetadulttreatmentthantheirwhitecounterpartswhocommitcomparableoffensesThestudysauthorsrightlycallonlawmakerstoenactlawsthatdiscourageharshsentencingforpreadolescentchildrenandthatenablethemtobetransferredbackintothejuvenilesystemBeyondthatCongressshouldamendthejuvenilejusticeacttorequirethestatestosimplyendtheseinhumanepracticestobeeligibleforfederaljuvenilejusticefundsNoteasofOctober2012theproposedamendmentshavenotbeenpassedNYT editorial September 13 2013 httpwwwnytimescom20130917opinionendmandatorylifesentenceshtml EndMandatoryLifeSentencesYoungpeoplearedifferentTheSupremeCourthasdeliveredthatmessagerepeatedlyoverthelastdecadeinlimitingorflatlyprohibitingthemostseverecriminalpunishmentsforthoseunder18atthetimeoftheircrimeIn2005thecourtbannedthedeathpenaltyforjuvenilesIn2010itoutlawedsentencesoflifewithoutparoleforjuvenilesconvictedofcrimesotherthanhomicideAndina2012caseMillervAlabamaitsaidjuvenilesmayneverreceiveamandatorysentenceoflifewithoutparolewhichprisonersrefertoastheotherdeathpenaltyEachrulingrelyingontheEighthAmendmentsbanoncruelandunusualpunishmenthasfoundthatyoungpeopleareconstitutionallydifferentfromadultsandthereforemustbepunisheddifferentlyIneachcasethecourtwassilentonthequestionofwhetheritsrulingappliedretroactivelytoinmateswhohadalreadybeenconvictedThejustanswerwouldsurelybeyesandcourtshavelargelyagreedmakingthosefirsttwojuvenilejusticerulingsretroactiveButsomestatesinsistthatthebanonmandatorylifewithoutparoledoesnotapplytooffenderswhohavealreadybeensentencedIntheMillercasethecourtrequiredlowercourtstomakeindividualizedsentencingdecisionsforjuveniledefendantsbecausejuvenilesarenotasmorallyculpableasadultsandtheyaremorecapableofchangingovertimeIfthebanonmandatorylifewithoutparoleisretroactivemorethan2000prisonerswouldbeeligibleforanewsentencinghearingSofarwhethertheseindividualscangetanewhearingdependsonwheretheyliveCourtsinMichiganIowaandMississippihaveruledthatthebanappliestopreviouslysentencedjuvenilesTheDepartmentofJusticetakesthatpositionas
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