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The Juvenile Justice System - constitutional rights

Children have certain constitutional rights at adjudication, such as the right to an attorney and the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses. They do not, however, have the right to a trial by jury. Should juvenile offenders have a constitutional right to a jury trial? Should each state make that determination? Discuss the legal decision that addresses this issue.

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Response:

Interesting question! Let's take a closer look.

1. Children have certain constitutional rights at adjudication, such as the right to an attorney and the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses. They do not, however, have the right to a trial by jury. Should juvenile offenders have a constitutional right to a jury trial? Should each state make that determination? Discuss the legal decision that addresses this issue.

There are arguments for and against the right for juveniles to a trial and jury, and whether or not each state should make the determination, but as it stands, the guiding principle is under the United States law.

Let's look more closely at this argument in terms of the Indiana Bill of Rights and the Constitution, including the pros and cons of the arguments. For example, historically, juvenile offenders and the protection of their civil rights have presented a unique challenge to the courts. The guiding principle of United States law has been parens patriae. This principle, established in medieval English law (Kadish, 3:962), allowed the Crown, i.e., the government, to intervene into family life when the welfare of the child was in question. By the nineteenth century, every state in the United States had incorporated this principle into its legal system. http://www.statelib.lib.in.us/www/Ihb/publications/cluprjo6.html

Illustrative Example:

The Issue: Juvenile offenders should have the same rights as adult offenders under the Indiana Bill of Rights.

Relevant constitutional references

Constitution of Indiana

Article I, Section 9. (Freedom of speech). No law shall be passed, restraining the free interchange of thought and opinion, or restricting the right to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever: but for the abuse of that right, every person shall be responsible.
Article I, Section 11. (Search warrants). The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search or seizure, shall not be violated: and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.
Article I, Section 13. (Rights of criminal defendants). In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the rights to a public trial, by an impartial jury, in the county in which the offense shall have been committed; to be heard by himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, and to have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.

United States ...

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