Massachusetts Juvenile Justice


THESIS STATEMENT: The Great and General Court of Massachusetts has erred in reforming the juvenile justice system by implementing policies and procedures that will harm juveniles and place society at risk.
On July 23, 1995, an intruder brutally attacked and stabbed Janet Downing approximately 100 times in her Somerville home. The revolting Downing murder and ensuing arrest of Edward O'Brien Jr., a 15-year-old juvenile whom prosecutors say committed the heinous crime, sent shockwaves through the state. When Somerville District Court Judge Paul P. Hefferman ruled that the Commonwealth try Mr. O'Brien as a juvenile, those shockwaves grew in intensity, and the citizens of Massachusetts, fed up ...

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a child, kidnaping, assault with intent to rob or murder and armed burglary in adult court and permits prosecutors to open to the public juvenile proceedings when they seek an adult sentence. Although proponents tout these measures as a sagacious solution for the vexatious problem of juvenile delinquency, abolishing the trial de novo system, providing for automatic adult trials and opening juvenile proceedings to the public when prosecutors seek an adult sentence works to the detriment, not the benefit, of juveniles and society. Therefore, the policy makers of Massachusetts should repeal most sections of the Juvenile Justice Reform Act and develop other policies to deal with the rising problem of juvenile crime.
I. A SINGLE TRIAL SYSTEM PREVENTS COURTS FROM PROVIDING RAPID ASSISTANCE TO JUVENILES IN NEED, DOES LITTLE TO SERVE JUDICIAL ECONOMY AND PLACES A SIMILAR BURDEN AS THE DE NOVO SYSTEM ON VICTIMS AND WITNESSES.
Proponents of a single trial system for juveniles argue that the ...

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decision does not bind clients if it is not in their interest. On the other hand, a single trial system discourages juveniles and defense attorneys from requesting a bench trial. Because jury trials are more lengthy than bench trials and may drag out for over a year, the current policy of encouraging juveniles to seek an initial jury trial denies them the rehabilitative help they need for a significant period of time. Therefore, the de novo system is the preferred choice when dealing with juveniles because it encourages bench trials and, concomitantly, the swift administration of rehabilitative help.

As noted earlier, one of the primary arguments for doing away with the de novo system ...

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"Massachusetts Juvenile Justice." Essayworld.com. September 27, 2008. Accessed March 30, 2020. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Massachusetts-Juvenile-Justice/90549.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 9/27/2008 10:06:45 AM
Category: Political Science
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 3140
Pages: 12

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