Academic Master

Laws and International Laws

Juvenile Law and Procedures

Q.1 Describe and explain how juveniles were treated prior to the due process revolution of the late 1960s/early 1970s. This question is in relation to their due process rights.

Between the 1960s and 1970s, the Supreme Court in the United States changed the system for juvenile justice. According to this system, different decisive actions were implemented to present the notion that juveniles receive due process based on the legal proceedings of the law. According to this, the Court presented facts that stated rights for the Juvenile and their acceptance being similar to that of an adult facing a trial (Ferdinand 1991). This was inclusive of the rights that were directed towards the ability to confront witnesses if needed, notice issues for changes, and the right to have an approach towards getting counsel. This became the sole factor in the due process revolution aimed at increasing the limitations for adult defendants. This revolution focused its emphasis on due process but maintained its alignment with social justice concerns, which were characterized by the early 1960s and late 1970s.

Q.2 To what extent are juvenile records truly “sealed” or confidential after one’s 18th birthday? Examine the readings, processes, issues, and rights carefully here.

The basis for “sealing” an individual’s juvenile records depends on certain criteria, and these criteria differ from the legal system in place in different states. For instance, there are states that will automatically seal an individual’s juvenile record after they reach a certain age, whereas there are states that demand a certain fee that the individual needs to pay before the juvenile records are made confidential (Easton 1980). Among some scenarios, there are cases where the legal system demands the individual to file a petition, which becomes a viable source for forwarding their appeal to conceal the records. The legal system, in some cases, expunges an offender completely from their records. This literally means wiping their records clean and expunging them of prior delinquent offenses. However, there’s a misconception related to “expunging” records. The legal system will be able to retrieve old records if the individual commits another offense in the future. This reflects the fact that an individual is never fully expunged of their delinquency records.

References

Easton, W. S. (1980). Expunging Criminal Records: A Judge’s Perspective. Wayne L. Rev., 27, 1391.

Ferdinand, T. N. (1991). History overtakes the juvenile justice system. Crime & Delinquency, 37(2), 204-224.

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