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Juvenile Justice and the U.S. Supreme Court Sheila A. Bedi Deputy Legal Director Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Juvenile Justice and the U.S. Supreme Court Sheila A. Bedi Deputy Legal Director Southern Poverty Law Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Juvenile Justice and the U.S. Supreme Court Sheila A. Bedi Deputy Legal Director Southern Poverty Law Center

2 U.S. Supreme Court Decisions Right to Counsel Right to Counsel Due Process Due Process Constitutionality of punishment Constitutionality of punishment

3 Goss v. Lopez Due process in school discipline context Class of student challenged Ohio statute that permitted school officials to suspend for up to 10 days without a hearing. Class of student challenged Ohio statute that permitted school officials to suspend for up to 10 days without a hearing. “Although Ohio may not be constitutionally obligated to establish and maintain a public school system, it has nevertheless done so and has required its children to attend. Those young people do not "shed their constitutional rights" at the schoolhouse door…Among other things, the State is constrained to recognize a student's legitimate entitlement to a public education as a property interest which is protected by the Due Process Clause and which may not be taken away for misconduct without adherence to the minimum procedures required by that Clause.” “Although Ohio may not be constitutionally obligated to establish and maintain a public school system, it has nevertheless done so and has required its children to attend. Those young people do not "shed their constitutional rights" at the schoolhouse door…Among other things, the State is constrained to recognize a student's legitimate entitlement to a public education as a property interest which is protected by the Due Process Clause and which may not be taken away for misconduct without adherence to the minimum procedures required by that Clause.” “At the very minimum, therefore, students facing suspension and the consequent interference with a protected property interest must be given some kind of notice and afforded some kind of hearing. Parties whose rights are to be affected are entitled to be heard; and in order that they may enjoy that right they must first be notified.” “At the very minimum, therefore, students facing suspension and the consequent interference with a protected property interest must be given some kind of notice and afforded some kind of hearing. Parties whose rights are to be affected are entitled to be heard; and in order that they may enjoy that right they must first be notified.”

4 J.D.B. v. North Carolina Custodial interrogations A uniformed police officer removed the 13-year- old student from his classroom and escorted him to a closed-door conference room, where he was questioned by police for at least half an hour regarding home break-ins. The student confessed. No Miranda warnings were given. In denying the student's motion to suppress, the state courts found that he was not in custody when he confessed, declining to extend the test for custody to include consideration of the age of an individual subjected to questioning by police A uniformed police officer removed the 13-year- old student from his classroom and escorted him to a closed-door conference room, where he was questioned by police for at least half an hour regarding home break-ins. The student confessed. No Miranda warnings were given. In denying the student's motion to suppress, the state courts found that he was not in custody when he confessed, declining to extend the test for custody to include consideration of the age of an individual subjected to questioning by police

5 J.D.B. v. North Carolina “A reasonable child subjected to police questioning will sometimes feel pressured to submit when a reasonable adult would feel free to go. We think it clear that courts can account for that reality without doing any damage to the objective nature of the custody analysis.” “A reasonable child subjected to police questioning will sometimes feel pressured to submit when a reasonable adult would feel free to go. We think it clear that courts can account for that reality without doing any damage to the objective nature of the custody analysis.” “So long as the child's age was known to the officer at the time of the interview, or would have been objectively apparent to any reasonable officer, including age as part of the custody analysis requires officers neither to consider circumstances "unknowable" to them nor to "anticipate the frailties or idiosyncrasies" of the particular suspect whom they question, The same "wide basis of community experience" that makes it possible, as an objective matter, "to determine what is to be expected" of children in other contexts, likewise makes it possible to know what to expect of children subjected to police questioning. “So long as the child's age was known to the officer at the time of the interview, or would have been objectively apparent to any reasonable officer, including age as part of the custody analysis requires officers neither to consider circumstances "unknowable" to them nor to "anticipate the frailties or idiosyncrasies" of the particular suspect whom they question, The same "wide basis of community experience" that makes it possible, as an objective matter, "to determine what is to be expected" of children in other contexts, likewise makes it possible to know what to expect of children subjected to police questioning. “The effect of the schoolhouse setting cannot be disentangled from the identity of the person questioned. A student -- whose presence at school is compulsory and whose disobedience at school is cause for disciplinary action -- is in a far different position than, say, a parent volunteer on school grounds to chaperone an event, or an adult from the community on school grounds to attend a basketball game. Without asking whether the person "questioned in school" is a "minor," ibid., the coercive effect of the schoolhouse setting is unknowable.” “The effect of the schoolhouse setting cannot be disentangled from the identity of the person questioned. A student -- whose presence at school is compulsory and whose disobedience at school is cause for disciplinary action -- is in a far different position than, say, a parent volunteer on school grounds to chaperone an event, or an adult from the community on school grounds to attend a basketball game. Without asking whether the person "questioned in school" is a "minor," ibid., the coercive effect of the schoolhouse setting is unknowable.”

6 In re Gault 387 U.S. 1 (1967) 15 year old Gerald Gault was picked up for making prank (“lewd”) phone calls. 15 year old Gerald Gault was picked up for making prank (“lewd”) phone calls. Hearing was held before judge—no attorney. Judge locked Gerald up until his 21 st birthday. Hearing was held before judge—no attorney. Judge locked Gerald up until his 21 st birthday. Court analysis difference between adult and juvenile proceedings: Court analysis difference between adult and juvenile proceedings: No right to bail No right to bail No right to jury No right to jury

7 In re Gault “The early reformers were appalled by adult procedures and penalties and by the fact that children could be given long prison sentences and mixed in jails with hardened criminals.” “The early reformers were appalled by adult procedures and penalties and by the fact that children could be given long prison sentences and mixed in jails with hardened criminals.”

8 In re Gault Evolution of the Juvenile Justice System “The child, essentially good as they saw it was to make to fee that he is the object of the state’s care and solicitude, not that he was under arrest or on trial. The rules of criminal procedure were therefore altogether inapplicable.” “The child, essentially good as they saw it was to make to fee that he is the object of the state’s care and solicitude, not that he was under arrest or on trial. The rules of criminal procedure were therefore altogether inapplicable.” “Juvenile court history has demonstrated that unbridled discretion however benevolently motivated, is a frequently a poor substitute for principle and procedure.” “Juvenile court history has demonstrated that unbridled discretion however benevolently motivated, is a frequently a poor substitute for principle and procedure.”

9 In re Gault Distinctions between children and adults “The features of the juvenile system which its proponents have asserted are of unique benefit will not be impaired by constitutional domestication. For example, the commendable principles relating to the processing and treatment of juveniles separately from adults are no way involved or affected by the procedural issues under discussion.” “The features of the juvenile system which its proponents have asserted are of unique benefit will not be impaired by constitutional domestication. For example, the commendable principles relating to the processing and treatment of juveniles separately from adults are no way involved or affected by the procedural issues under discussion.”

10 In re Gault Consequences of juvenile imprisonment “The boy is committed to an institution where he may be restrained of liberty for years. It is of no constitutional consequence –and of limited practical meaning—that the institution to which he is committed is called an industrial school. The fact of the matter is that...an industrial school for juveniles is an institution of confinement in which the child is incarcerated... Instead of a mother and father and sisters and brothers and friends and classmates his world is peopled by guards, custodians, state employees and delinquents confined with him...” “The boy is committed to an institution where he may be restrained of liberty for years. It is of no constitutional consequence –and of limited practical meaning—that the institution to which he is committed is called an industrial school. The fact of the matter is that...an industrial school for juveniles is an institution of confinement in which the child is incarcerated... Instead of a mother and father and sisters and brothers and friends and classmates his world is peopled by guards, custodians, state employees and delinquents confined with him...”

11 In re Gault Indigent Defense Due process requires the essentials of due process and fair treatment for juvenile delinquency proceedings. Due process requires the essentials of due process and fair treatment for juvenile delinquency proceedings. “Under our Constitution, the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court. The traditional ideas of juvenile court procedure, indeed, contemplated that time would be available and care would be used to establish precisely what the juvenile did and why he did it—was it a prank of adolescence or a brutal act threatening serious consequences to himself or society unless corrected.” “Under our Constitution, the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court. The traditional ideas of juvenile court procedure, indeed, contemplated that time would be available and care would be used to establish precisely what the juvenile did and why he did it—was it a prank of adolescence or a brutal act threatening serious consequences to himself or society unless corrected.” “The child requires the guiding hand of counsel at every step in the proceedings against him.” “The child requires the guiding hand of counsel at every step in the proceedings against him.”

12 In re Winship Proof beyond a reasonable doubt 12 year old boy stole $12 from a locker 12 year old boy stole $12 from a locker NY Statute provided that guilt could be established by a preponderance of the evidence—not by reasonable doubt. NY Statute provided that guilt could be established by a preponderance of the evidence—not by reasonable doubt.

13 In re Winship Why a reasonable doubt? “A society that values the good name and freedom of every individual should not condemn a man for commission of a crime when there is reasonable doubt about his guilt.” “A society that values the good name and freedom of every individual should not condemn a man for commission of a crime when there is reasonable doubt about his guilt.” “It is critical that the moral force of the criminal law not be diluted by a standard of proof that leaves people in doubt whether innocent men are being condemned.” “It is critical that the moral force of the criminal law not be diluted by a standard of proof that leaves people in doubt whether innocent men are being condemned.”

14 In re Winship Children are entitled to reasonable doubt standard “Civil labels and good intention do not themselves obviate the need for criminal due process safe guards in juvenile courts.” “Civil labels and good intention do not themselves obviate the need for criminal due process safe guards in juvenile courts.” “We conclude...that the observance of the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt will not compel states to abandon or displace any of the substantive benefits of the juvenile process.” “We conclude...that the observance of the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt will not compel states to abandon or displace any of the substantive benefits of the juvenile process.”

15 McKeiver et al v. Pennsylvania Right to a jury trial Consolidated cases from PA and NC. Children adjudicated delinquent during bench trial asserted their right to a jury trial. Consolidated cases from PA and NC. Children adjudicated delinquent during bench trial asserted their right to a jury trial.

16 McKeiver et al v. Pennsylvania Jury trial is not a constitutional requirement because: Jury trial is not a constitutional requirement because: 1) Prior Supreme Court precedent stopped short of ordering that all adult procedural safeguards' apply to juvenile proceedings; 2) Jury trials will make juvenile proceedings fully adversarial and will put an end to the “idealistic prospect of an intimate, informal protective proceeding.”; 3) It would place the juvenile squarely in the routine of the criminal process.

17 McKeiver et al v. Pennsylvania “The juvenile court held high promise. We are reluctant to say that despite disappointments of grave dimensions it still does not hold great promise and we are particularly reluctant to say that that the system cannot accomplish it’s rehabilitative goals…We are reluctant to disallow the states to experiment further and to seek in new and different ways the elusive answers to the problems of the young, and we feel that we would be impeding that experimentation by imposing the jury trial. The states indeed must go forward. If, in its wisdom, any state feels the jury trial is desirable in all cases or in certain kinds, there appears to be no impediment to installing a system embracing that future. That, however, is the state’s privilege and not its obligation.” “The juvenile court held high promise. We are reluctant to say that despite disappointments of grave dimensions it still does not hold great promise and we are particularly reluctant to say that that the system cannot accomplish it’s rehabilitative goals…We are reluctant to disallow the states to experiment further and to seek in new and different ways the elusive answers to the problems of the young, and we feel that we would be impeding that experimentation by imposing the jury trial. The states indeed must go forward. If, in its wisdom, any state feels the jury trial is desirable in all cases or in certain kinds, there appears to be no impediment to installing a system embracing that future. That, however, is the state’s privilege and not its obligation.”

18 In re: Gault “We conclude that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that in respect of proceedings to determine delinquency which may result in commitment to an institution in which the juvenile’s freedom in curtailed, the child and his parents must be notified of the child’s right to be represented by counsel retained by them or if they are unable to afford counsel, that counsel will be appointed to represent the child.” “We conclude that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires that in respect of proceedings to determine delinquency which may result in commitment to an institution in which the juvenile’s freedom in curtailed, the child and his parents must be notified of the child’s right to be represented by counsel retained by them or if they are unable to afford counsel, that counsel will be appointed to represent the child.”

19 In re Gault Self-incrimination “Juvenile proceedings to determine delinquency, which may lead to commitment to a state institution, must be regarded as criminal for the purposes of the privilege against self-incrimination. To hold otherwise would be to disregard substance because of the feeble enticement of the civil label of convenience which has been attached to juvenile proceedings. Indeed, in over half of the states there is not even assurance that the juvenile will be kept in separate institutions apart from adult criminals…For this purpose, at least, commitment is a deprivation of liberty. It is incarceration against one’s will, whether it is called criminal or civil. And our Constitution guarantees that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself when he is threatened with the deprivation of his liberty—a command which this Court has broadly applied and generously implemented in accordance with the teaching of the history of the privilege and its great office in mankind’s battle for freedom.” “Juvenile proceedings to determine delinquency, which may lead to commitment to a state institution, must be regarded as criminal for the purposes of the privilege against self-incrimination. To hold otherwise would be to disregard substance because of the feeble enticement of the civil label of convenience which has been attached to juvenile proceedings. Indeed, in over half of the states there is not even assurance that the juvenile will be kept in separate institutions apart from adult criminals…For this purpose, at least, commitment is a deprivation of liberty. It is incarceration against one’s will, whether it is called criminal or civil. And our Constitution guarantees that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself when he is threatened with the deprivation of his liberty—a command which this Court has broadly applied and generously implemented in accordance with the teaching of the history of the privilege and its great office in mankind’s battle for freedom.”

20 Kent v. United States Procedural Protections for Transfer 16 year old accused or burglary, robbery and rape was waived into the adult system after a pro forma hearing. 16 year old accused or burglary, robbery and rape was waived into the adult system after a pro forma hearing. “In these circumstances, considering particularly that decision as to waiver of jurisdiction and transfer of the matter to the District Court was potentially as important to petitioner as the difference between five years' confinement and a death sentence, we conclude that, as a condition to a valid waiver order, petitioner was entitled to a hearing, including access by his counsel to the social records and probation or similar reports which presumably are considered by the court, and to a statement of reasons for the Juvenile Court's decision. We believe that this result is required by the statute read in the context of constitutional principles relating to due process and the assistance of counsel.” “In these circumstances, considering particularly that decision as to waiver of jurisdiction and transfer of the matter to the District Court was potentially as important to petitioner as the difference between five years' confinement and a death sentence, we conclude that, as a condition to a valid waiver order, petitioner was entitled to a hearing, including access by his counsel to the social records and probation or similar reports which presumably are considered by the court, and to a statement of reasons for the Juvenile Court's decision. We believe that this result is required by the statute read in the context of constitutional principles relating to due process and the assistance of counsel.”

21 Roper v. Simmons Outlawed the Juvenile Death Penalty “categorically less culpable ” 1. National consensus. The evidence of national consensus against the death penalty for juveniles was similar, and in some respects parallel, to the evidence held sufficient in Atkins v Virginia -in which the United States Supreme Court had held that the execution of offenders who were mentally retarded violated the Eighth Amendment--to demonstrate a national consensus against the death penalty for the mentally retarded, for: Atkins v Virginia Eighth AmendmentAtkins v Virginia Eighth Amendment 2. Congressional Action. When enacting the Federal Death Penalty Act (18 U.S.C.S. § 3591) in 1994, Congress had determined that the death penalty should not extend to juveniles. 18 U.S.C.S. § 359118 U.S.C.S. § 3591 3.Less culpable. Society presently views juveniles as categorically less culpable than the average criminal.

22 Roper v. Simmons 5. Children do not commit the worst crimes. General maturity-related differences between juveniles under 18 and adults demonstrated that juvenile offenders could not with reliability be classified among the worst offenders. 6. Precedent. Same justifications for outlawing death for children under age 16, applies to all children under age 18. 7. No deterrence because of diminished culpability. Once the diminished culpability of juveniles was recognized, it was evident that the penological justifications (restitution and deterrence) for the death penalty applied to juveniles with lesser force than to adults. The differences between juvenile and adult offenders were too marked and too well understood to risk allowing a youthful person to receive the death penalty despite insufficient culpability. 8. Society draws the line at 18. The age of 18 was the point where, for many purposes, society drew the line between childhood and adulthood. 9. International Human Rights. The United States was the only country in the world that continued to give official sanction to the juvenile death penalty.

23 Graham v. Florida A child who committed a non-homicide offense was sentenced to life without parole. The court found this sentence unconstitutional for the following reasons: A child who committed a non-homicide offense was sentenced to life without parole. The court found this sentence unconstitutional for the following reasons: Proportional punishment. Embodied in the cruel and unusual punishments ban is the “precept... that punishment for crime should be graduated and proportioned to [the] offense.” Proportional punishment. Embodied in the cruel and unusual punishments ban is the “precept... that punishment for crime should be graduated and proportioned to [the] offense.” Rarity of the sentence. An examination of actual sentencing practices in those jurisdictions that permit life without parole for juvenile nonhomicide offenders, discloses a consensus against the sentence. Nationwide, there are only 123 juvenile offenders serving life without parole sentences for nonhomicide crimes. Because 77 of those offenders are serving sentences imposed in Florida and the other 46 are imprisoned in just 10 States, it appears that only 11 jurisdictions nationwide in fact impose life without parole sentences on juvenile nonhomicide offenders, while 26 States, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Government do not impose them despite apparent statutory authorization. Rarity of the sentence. An examination of actual sentencing practices in those jurisdictions that permit life without parole for juvenile nonhomicide offenders, discloses a consensus against the sentence. Nationwide, there are only 123 juvenile offenders serving life without parole sentences for nonhomicide crimes. Because 77 of those offenders are serving sentences imposed in Florida and the other 46 are imprisoned in just 10 States, it appears that only 11 jurisdictions nationwide in fact impose life without parole sentences on juvenile nonhomicide offenders, while 26 States, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Government do not impose them despite apparent statutory authorization.

24 Graham v. Florida Limited Culpability of youth. The inadequacy of penological theory to justify life without parole sentences for juvenile nonhomicide offenders, the limited culpability of such offenders, and the severity of these sentences all lead the Court to conclude that the sentencing practice at issue is cruel and unusual. Limited Culpability of youth. The inadequacy of penological theory to justify life without parole sentences for juvenile nonhomicide offenders, the limited culpability of such offenders, and the severity of these sentences all lead the Court to conclude that the sentencing practice at issue is cruel and unusual. International Human Rights. Additional support for the Court's conclusion lies in the fact that the sentencing practice at issue has been rejected the world over: The United States is the only Nation that imposes this type of sentence. While the judgments of other nations and the international community are not dispositive as to the meaning of the Eighth Amendment, the Court has looked abroad to support its independent conclusion that a particular punishment is cruel and unusual.. International Human Rights. Additional support for the Court's conclusion lies in the fact that the sentencing practice at issue has been rejected the world over: The United States is the only Nation that imposes this type of sentence. While the judgments of other nations and the international community are not dispositive as to the meaning of the Eighth Amendment, the Court has looked abroad to support its independent conclusion that a particular punishment is cruel and unusual..Eighth AmendmentEighth Amendment


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