Justice Trend: Violent Teens Get Their Day in Adult Court Series: Decision to Try Murder Suspect Edward O'Brien Jr., 16, in Juvenile Court Sparked Shock and Anger in the Boston Area., C.J. GUNTHER/AP

By Robert Marquand, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, February 14, 1996 | Go to article overview

Justice Trend: Violent Teens Get Their Day in Adult Court Series: Decision to Try Murder Suspect Edward O'Brien Jr., 16, in Juvenile Court Sparked Shock and Anger in the Boston Area., C.J. GUNTHER/AP


Robert Marquand, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


THE push to prosecute teenagers as adults is gaining momentum in state capitals across the country.

Driven by public outcry over brutal murders and by statistics showing that violent crime among youths is rising, states are abandoning old rules that protect juveniles from treatment as adults in the legal system.

Underlying the trend, however, are some enduring questions: Is the practice curbing crime rates - and is it doing more harm than good to juveniles? Indeed, some lawyers and judges are warning against laws created in a "lynch mob" atmosphere.

In just the past few weeks, several cases have surfaced showing how states and courts are handling juveniles differently:

*Fifteen-year-old Joshua Jenkins faced a San Diego judge last week on charges of murdering his parents, grandparents, and 10-year-old sister in late January. Until last summer, the teenager would certainly have been prosecuted as a juvenile.

But a tough new law allowing California to send violent offenders ages 14 to 17 to adult court has changed that. In another recent San Diego case, a judge ordered a 15-year-old girl to stand trial as an adult for the stabbing death of an older woman.

*In Chicago last month, a judge sentenced a 12-year-old boy to a state juvenile penitentiary, making him the nation's youngest inmate at a high-security prison. The youth and a 13-year-old boy were were convicted of murder for dropping a five-year-old from a 14-story building after the youngster refused to steal candy for them.

*In Boston, by contrast, a Superior Court judge recently denied a motion to try a 16-year-old as an adult for the stabbing murder of his best friend's mother. The slaying has caused shock and anger in the Boston area, due to its ugliness and because the youth accused of the crime came from a "good" two-parent home.

"This isn't the {19}50s any more," says David Kopel, an expert on violence at the Independence Institute in Golden, Colo., referring to the hardening attitudes toward juveniles.

Last year alone, more than a dozen states passed laws to treat juvenile criminals more like adults. Many have lowered to 14 the age at which juveniles can be so tried.

Rules for juvenile court vary from state to state. But generally, unlike in an adult trial, the hearings are confidential, the number of attorneys is much greater (parents, for example, may have separate counsel), and the judge has enormous latitude to decide punishment.

Many states are also pushing longer sentences for kids and expanding the types of crimes for which juveniles can be prosecuted as adults.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Justice Trend: Violent Teens Get Their Day in Adult Court Series: Decision to Try Murder Suspect Edward O'Brien Jr., 16, in Juvenile Court Sparked Shock and Anger in the Boston Area., C.J. GUNTHER/AP
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.