System Comparison

System Comparison



System Comparison

Juvenile Justice System Adult Justice System Both
  Individuals arrested have the right to receive Miranda warnings.  
  The purpose of the procedures is to punish the guilty.  
    Court jurisdiction is determined by age.
    Individuals have the right to counsel.
  Individuals on trial do not have a right to a jury trial.  
    There is the ability to negotiate and plea bargain.
    Court proceedings are public.
    Purpose of procedures is to protect and treat.
Proceedings are not considered criminal    
    Justice system personnel use discretion.
    Court proceedings are private.
    Court jurisdiction is determined by offense.
  Proceedings are considered criminal.  
    Prosecutors and defense attorneys are key players in proceedings.

Issues Impacting the Juvenile Court System

The issue of awarding the death penalty to juveniles has been debated greatly with both faction offering valid arguments for and against the practice. Within the United States, it is currently allowed for adults only. Arguments in favor of death penalty for juvenile offenders propose that the decision system for delivering ordinary judgments is too harsh. Therefore, state legislature rather than the court should determine the final ruling for children. Furthermore, juries should be used as they have the ability to analyze a case in its uniqueness. Lastly, proponents of death penalty for juvenile offenders argue that the United States should not focus on following global trends and instead examine their own judicial environment. Pro-death penalty groups argue that juvenile offenders should be judged and penalized according to the severity of their crimes.

Conversely, pro-life groups oppose the sanctioning of death penalty for juvenile offenders for various reasons. One of the reasons is universal and covers al forms of threats to human life. Pro-life groups argue that executing juveniles is morally wrong and uncultured practice. However, an even convincing reason is that juveniles have been scientifically proven immature in the brain areas that are responsible for reason and decision-making. Therefore, they cannot be held liable for any actions that are controlled by the above functions. Another reason for the resistance of the death penalty for juvenile offenders is that the children have already experienced enough suffering while in prison. Most underage offenders are often victims of mental, sexual, and physical abuse. In conclusion, the treatment of juvenile offenders is a thorny subject. However, most people agree that juvenile offenders can benefit more from initiative that seek to reform rather than punish them. This is the sentiment held by a greater proportion of American legislature in the current environment.

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