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Criticism Of The Juvenile Justice System

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The adversary system is characterized by party control of the investigation and presentation of evidence and argument, and by a passive decisionmaker who merely listens to both sides and renders a decision based on what she has heard. An ideology has developed that seeks to justify the adversary system, but the adherents have had some difficulty settling on the most appropriate justification. The current ideology extols the adversary system primarily as the best system for protecting individual dignity and autonomy, but some theorists continue to profess the original ideology, which says that adversarial presentation and argument are the best way to arrive at the truth. (Sward, 1989) The most cited assumptions of the proponents of the early…show more content…
For decades, the juvenile justice system experienced criticism from general public, scholars, and the judicial system. This culminated in several U.S. Supreme Court decisions which fundamentally altered the functioning of the system. These criticisms stemmed from the inability of the juvenile justice system to fulfill its intended mission of rehabilitating juveniles. There were many abuses of discretion, which led the U.S. Supreme Court to eventually conclude that juveniles received the worst of both worlds. In other words, the child received neither fair treatment in the courts nor rehabilitation in the juvenile correctional system. People began to realize that the conflicting goals of juvenile justice made the process indistinguishable from a criminal trial in that the end result was punishment, deterrence, and incapacitation. The due process changes in juvenile justice moved away from the idea that a child was property neither the parents’ property nor the state’s property. Now a child was recognized as a person with associated rights and protections other than just the right to be saved. This shift also resulted in a reduction in individualized justice. (Taylor & Fritsch,…show more content…
About nine months later, he was tried and sentenced to death. Simmons confessed to the murder and agreed to perform a videotaped reenactment at the crime scene. So, the state charged him with burglary, kidnapping, stealing, and murder in the first degree. In the courtroom the defense called no witnesses in the guilt phase. The jury returned a verdict of murder; then the trial proceeded to the penalty phase. After the proceedings in Simmons case had run their course, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Atkins v. Virginia that the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit the execution of a mentally retarded person. Simmons filed a petition for state postconviction relief, arguing that the reasoning of Atkins established that the Constitution prohibits the execution of a juvenile who was under 18 when the crime was committed. The Missouri Supreme Court agreed and set aside Simmons’ death sentence and resentenced him to life without the possibility of parole. On March 1, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court decided
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