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Judicial Process - Research Paper Example

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Juvenile offenders transferred into adult criminal court jurisdiction Name Professor Course University Date Introduction Significant changes in judicial processes in recent times have lead to a growing number of juveniles being transferred to adult criminal courts…
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Judicial Process
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Download file to see previous pages This has lead to juveniles being punished under adult criminal sentencing guidelines, which is more severe than in juvenile courts. considerable research work on juveniles in adult criminal courts have been conducted throughout time with others focusing on their character in courts, punishment outcomes in adult courts and comparing them to the juvenile courts. Juvenile Punishments in Adult Criminal Courts There have been varying conclusions into the degree of severity of the judicial outcomes, although, most concluded that the degree were less severe to those melted out to adult offenders. Juvenile courts and adult courts are very different in functionality and as such, comparison of the courts would not bring meaningful conclusions. The most practical analysis, therefore, is to look into juvenile outcomes in adult courts and compare to similar cases amongst young adults with similar offences. Several research work on this has also produced diverse results, however, most studies concur that juvenile status toned down the severity of sentences in adult courts, but not the actual court process. Additionally, other research work indicated that there are juvenile penalties in adult court, which seem harsher compared to similar cases by young adults. These results show several research work conducted by different scholars applying different methodologies and within different judicial jurisdiction. Sentencing Guidelines Earlier sentencing structures were consistently based on rehabilitative notions that focused on personalized punishments that would suit each offence, terms of imprisonment were varied and this allowed for a degree of flexibility in their application. Policymakers and the public however, came to realize huge loopholes in such system, this lead to proliferation of sentencing guidelines in more than half of the states. Sentencing law represents ‘procedurally rational law’ contrasting sharply with ‘substantively rational law’ the latter provides for punishments to be personalized to fit eccentric offender needs and considerations. These presents a conflict to the society, one of establishing order and the other of punishing individuals based on unique circumstances. However, the latter applicability has always been argued aids in seeking fair just and proportional outcomes for each individual case. The guidelines that have been promulgated have lead to containment of judges’ decision, explaining the reason why judges prefer their judgment on particular cases. The sentencing guidelines also differ on jurisdiction, for instance those in the state of Maryland are different from those in the state of Pennsylvania. In recent years however, most sentencing guidelines have been more flexible in their applicability, providing a wide range of alternatives for each offence. For instance, some states implemented “presumptive” guidelines and these legally mandated judges to sentence within guidelines ranges except in rare circumstances involving departures (Johnson and Kurlychek 2012). Other states implemented less restrictive “voluntary guidelines”, which provide judges with benchmarks for sentencing, but they do not legally require the judge to sentence within the guidelines recommendations. Cases involving juveniles in adult courts by definition are atypical, this is because juvenile status represents a unique offender considerations, it may play as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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