Adult vs. Juvenile Court essay


Adultvs. Juvenile Court

Doesthe nature of a case really determine where a juvenile is tried? Overthe years, there has been debate as to whether the nature of a casehas an influence on which court a juvenile should be tried. On thesame note, the cut-off age for a young individual to be tried in anadult court has raised controversial debate over the years. Manyattorneys argue that an individual of age 17 should be tried in anadult court. This is despite the fact that there have been many casesof individuals as young as 10-14 years being referred to adult courtsfor trial. In many instances, cases such as murder and homicidecarried out by young individuals have been referred to the adultcourts. The purpose of this work is to set and research a juvenilecase involving a homicide and explore the issues that occur from thiscase in order to establish whether the suspect ought to beadjudicated in juvenile or in criminal adult court.

Lettake a case of a boy of 10 years of age who was tried and charge forallegedly causing the death of a woman of 90 years of age. Thisparticular case was ruled as a homicide after reports from an autopsyconducted revealed that she died from direct force trauma on her neck(Steele, 2014). The boy was charged in an adult court, but was hereally old enough to be charged in adult court?

Thepolice had used the right channels in investigating this homicidecase. For instance, the juvenile was charged after her own motherpresented him before the police the same day of the murder. Thus, itwas after this consideration from the suspect’s mother that theofficers pressed murder charges against the juvenile (Steele, 2014).Although it is hard for such a young boy to be presented with a lifesentence charges, the boy was adequately advised of his rights andthat the crime that he had committed was commensurate to the sentencepresented. As such, his attorney assured him that he would try hisbest to get the boy released at a bail after the hearing (Steele,2014). It is no doubt during the court process it was a difficultmoment for the defendants as they witnessed their son sentenced tolife imprisonment.

Issuessurrounding the case that lead the suspect charged in adult court

Thereare various issues that arise from this homicide case that isattributed to the young boy being charged in adult court. One of theissues that come out is that homicide is a criminal offense thus, itis not included in the juvenile laws in many states. Equally, almostin every state, there are legal necessities under which the juveniledelinquent can be tried as an adult. Any juvenile court judge hasalso the mandate to transfer any case to adult court. Another issueis that statutory laws can require adult courts to hear cases ofcrimes such as homicide and murder (Eigen, 1981).

Adequacyof the sentence

Alife sentence for this young boy definitely was the end of hisfreedom and ambitions as a child and in adulthood. From the suspect`smother, who happened to witness the offense, she testified that herson lost his temper hence, grabbing a cane and pushing it throughthe old woman`s throat. As such, I can contend with Precker Michaelwho argues that crimes carried out by juveniles should be tried atthe juvenile courts where the sentences are light, as opposed toadult courts where sentences are usually harsh for serious crimeslike murder (Precker, 1950) thus, this sentence was excessive forthe juvenile.

Currently,the number of homicide cases in this area has greatly reduced. Thereare various ways that the management of policing may influence theoutcome of a homicide case as this one. For instance, one of the waysis through information sharing this will enable the officersinvestigating a wide view of the case and eventually arriving at themost important information, and shunning away from hearsays andspeculations (Sullivan, 2004).

Anotherway of management of policing that can influence the case’s outcomeis the management of political and public expectations of homicideinvestigations. According to Sullivan (2004), pressures from thepublic on cases related to homicide can be uncontainable. This isbecause they get much attention from the public, politicians, andother non-governmental organizations on how the police are going tohandle its investigations (Sullivan, 2004). Thus, it is themanagement’s best aim to manage these pressures in order for themnot to influence the case’s outcome.


Inconclusion, if I were to stand in the court to testify, I would saythat the juvenile may have acted out of anger and ignorance, thus,ended up committing such a serious crime. As such, I would persuadethe judge to refer the case to the juvenile court or pass anindulgent sentence for this young boy.


Eigen,J.P. (1981). Punishing Youth Homicide Offenders in Philadelphia.Journalof criminal law and criminology,72, 3(8).

Precker,M.S. (1950). The treatment of juvenile Offenders in murder cases.Journalof criminal law and criminology, 41,1(5).

Sullivan,T. (2014). Policeexperience with recording custodial interrogation.California. Northwestern University Press.

Steele,A. (2014).Why a 10-year-old in Pennsylvania can be tried for murder as anadult.Washington. USA Today.