As per the rules passed by criminal justice system, an offender below the age of 18 years will always be considered and sentenced under juvenile case by the juvenile justice system that will be proceed differently than adult cases (Leiber, Bishop & Chamlin, 2011).
In contrast to adult offenders, Diane and Jack will be treated as juveniles because of their minority age. Unlike adult offenders, they will be taken as delinquent offenders. Both of them were 13 years of age; therefore, they will be charged under the category of minors. On the other hand, adult offenders are always treated under the adult criminal justice system, so their punishments are also hard as compared to the juvenile justice system. Furthermore, Diane and Jack will be treated as juvenile-offenders because minor age criminals can only be sentenced under a judge, unlike adult offenders who are sentenced under the decisions of juries (Loeber & Farrington, 2012).
It is very important to treat juvenile cases differently than adults because of their minor ages. An adult offender used to have hard punishments, but in juvenile cases punishments are designed to teach a lesson to the offender so that he will refrain himself from doing illegal acts next time in his life (Slobogin, 2013). As the offenders less than 18 years are young having minimal maturity levels to differentiate between the dos and don’ts of life. Therefore, a simple lesson and minor punishment can teach them to be a responsible adult in the future. Keeping in view the maturity level of juveniles in mind, young offenders are usually susceptible to change. Therefore, if they are treated properly they can make a positive change in themselves.
In the past, juvenile offenders had been treated in the jails and charged penalties against theirs criminal acts. During the 19th century, states were facing extreme poverty and societal issues so the ratio of juvenile offences was also very high. After that, rules had been passed to oppose putting young offenders in the jails with adults. During the year 1825, New York House of Refugee has created educational schools for juvenile offenders and juvenile correction systems as well. During the hearing process, due process rights will be afforded to Jack and Diane. As minor age criminals, they will be granted following rights: Right to have guardian, Right to file action against the offence, Right to challenge the judge decision, Right to remain silent and admit their crime. If Jack and Diane will be found guilty, the court may make the following possible court ordered options for both of them. They will be taken to a learning camp, Attend substance training on abuse programs, mental health programs, Payment of fines.
Jack’s due process and constitutional rights were violated by the police during the investigation. Firstly, Jack has a right to inform which entails the police informing the alleged criminal regarding his crime while providing evidence as well. The police did not follow this procedure and instead decided to violate Jack’s right by escorting him to the police station for questioning. Jack wasn’t informed of his crime, nor any evidence had been provided to him, rather he faced a hard police investigation, questioning regarding the crime he offended. Hence, the right that was violated required Jack to be informed of his crime at the moment of his arrest (Friendly, 1965). Looking at the point where the police apprehended Jack, the police did not inform Jack regarding the accusations and failed to take permission to search them which shows us that the searching right of the accused was also violated. Lastly, as the police only recovered the candy boxes from Diane’s purse, accusing Jack based on insufficient evidence brought into light, substantiality of the evidence on the basis of which Jack was charged with theft despite pleading guilty.
Moreover, the main argument is that Jack was charged with theft despite insufficient evidence as no candy was found from Jack. Hence this would be used to nullify the charge of theft. The police followed and searched Jack due to Moe’s testimony regarding stealing and assault. According to Moe, he saw Diane and Jack stealing candy from his store. The main argument according to the scenario is that while Diane and Jack were questioned, Diane confessed the crime about stealing candy and jack’s role in the theft. Additionally, candy was found in Diane’s purse that was put there by Jack and is consistent with the accusation by Moe and confession by Diane. Hence, despite misconduct on the part of the police, the evidence suggests that Jack was involved. Thus, this argument would be used in the prosecution of Jack.
Under the federal system, a more systematic approach should have been used where the accusations were investigated properly to ensure that there was sufficient evidence to go forward with the case. The witness and his statements would have been reviewed by the investigating bodies while simultaneously investigating the accused. Based on all this, the attorneys would have looked over the results and findings and then decided to go ahead with the arrest. It would be handled differently by making an arrest against a warrant and the offender’s rights would have been read to him so that he will be informed about the charge and accusations behind the reasons of his arrest (Stahl, 2017).
An appropriate court ordered option for Jack would be calling Jack for an oral examination which would give Jack a chance to explain his actions. This would also prevent any violations of his constitutional rights while ensuring that since Jack was a juvenile, he was dealt with properly yet leniently given the extent of his crime. Since both Jack and Diane were juveniles, so punishment in terms of fines, learning and educational camp training, punishment training over abusive programs will be more suitable for the offenders.
During the investigation process of Diane’s case, she was not accorded the rights that she deserved, her constitutional rights were violated. A juvenile has the right to Miranda warning given by a police officer to the juvenile after they are accused of committing a crime. A juvenile has the right to be given a notice of the delinquency charges that he or she faces. The notice is important as it helps in the preparation of the hearing. Juveniles also have a right to have an attorney who is required to address any questions a juvenile could be having and explain to them how the process works. Also, Juveniles have a right to question witnesses called to testify by the state, through the attorney during hearing.
As to why Diane’s due process and constitutional rights were violated, the following arguments can be used to justify: Firstly, she was not provided with a notice explaining that she was charged with theft. Also, according to Guarino-Ghezzi (2017), the attorney should speak for the juvenile in court, defending them against the charges facing them. Diane was not given a chance to have an attorney to speak for her which is a violation of her constitutional right implying that this provision was disregarded. Failure to give Diane a Miranda warning implies violation of the constitutional rights since Diane didn’t get a chance to cross-examine witnesses as well as have an attorney.
Various defense arguments can be established from Diane’s case. First, she is only a minor who was innocent in the whole ordeal and she operated under instructions. It is Jack who handed the boxes of Candy to her so she could place them in her purse. Secondly, it was not the intention of Diane to steal the items from the store. Also, when Jack asked her to meet him in the store, she never had an idea that Jack would steal, otherwise she would have avoided going to meet Jack. If she intended to steal, she would have denied the claims that she was caught with the items. However, she confesses their act during the interrogation with the police which proves that she was innocent in the whole act. Also, it is not Diane who picked the items; all she did was keep them. So, ultimately, Diane is innocent as she was not the one who practiced the theft act.
Diane’s case would have been handled differently in the federal system. Firstly, she would have been arrested and taken to custody where she would have been informed about her legal rights. Her parents or guardian would then have been immediately notified about her arrest. She would then have been brought before the magistrate for arraignment and after a hearing before the counsel; the magistrate orders the detainment of the juvenile for her safety or to guarantee subsequent court appearances. Within 30 days of federal custody, delinquency hearing then takes place (Siegel & Welsh, 2014).
An appropriate court-ordered option based on the fact pattern from the defense attorney and prosecutorial perspective would be retribution and or restitution. Restitution is compensating for loss or injury while retribution is punishment inflicted on someone for a criminal act or a wrong done (Tuckness, 2010).Diane would be ordered to pay a given amount of money to repay the stolen item since her crime is minor as a mode of punishment.
Leiber, M., Bishop, D., & Chamlin, M. B. (2011). Juvenile justice decision‐making before and after the implementation of the disproportionate minority contact (DMC) mandate. Justice Quarterly, 28(3), 460-492.
Loeber, R., & Farrington, D. P. (Eds.). (2012). From juvenile delinquency to adult crime: Criminal careers, justice policy, and prevention. Oxford university press.
Slobogin, C. (2013). Treating juveniles like juveniles: Getting rid of transfer and expanded adult court jurisdiction. Tex. Tech L. Rev., 46, 103.
Elrod, P., & Ryder, R. S. (2013). Juvenile justice: A social, historical, and legal perspective. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.