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Instructions for Juvenile Justice College Essay Examples

Title: Juvenile Justice

Total Pages: 3 Words: 1198 Sources: 0 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: Challenges faced by the juvenile justice system

Discuss the challenges and unique issues that the juvenile justice system face in the 21st Century.

Analyze the impact the increasing number of child abuse and neglect cases has on the juvenile justice system.

Provide specific data on the increase of child abuse and neglect cases.
Discuss the future challenges facing the juvenile justice system.

Use at least one external research source including academic journals to support your view.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: juvenile delinquency

Total Pages: 4 Words: 1292 References: 4 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: Discuss the history and evolution of the juvenile justice system. Some content it is outdated and ineffective. Include at least three milestones in the evolution of the juvenile justice system, and three or more examples of significance of the historical evolution.

Each year, thousands of youths are transferred out of the juvenile court system to be tried in criminal court due to the seriousness of their crimes. What factors are considered in this “waiver process”? What are the potential consequences of this trend, to the child and to society?

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: CJ 205 Juvenile Justice

Total Pages: 5 Words: 2287 Works Cited: 3 Citation Style: APA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: Instructions
Read the Washington Post articles titled “5-4 Supreme Court Abolishes Juvenile
Executions” and "Supreme Court restricts life without parole for juveniles" that
are provided below starting at page 3 in the supplemental information section
after the synopsis and directions.
In the United States there is sort of a dilemma about how to handle juvenile
criminal defendants. In the eyes of the law they are viewed as juveniles and
therefore not subject to the adult criminal justice system, technically speaking.
However, increasingly juveniles are being tried as adults for their crimes. This
requires a judgment call by the prosecution and a legal determination by a judge.
Clearly, some juveniles deserve to be tried as an adult if they commit a very
serious offense, but where do we draw the line? Should juvenile drug defendants
also be charged as an adult or should this be restricted to violent crimes?
The United States Supreme Court has made several important decisions
regarding juveniles in the criminal justice system in recent years. On March 2,
2005, in Roper v. Simmons, the US Supreme Court abolished the death penalty
for all offenders who committed their offense as a juvenile, no matter how serious
and heinous their crimes. The court cited changing societal attitudes and
remarkably even international sentiment when coming to its decision.
On May 18, 2010, in Graham v. Florida, the United States Supreme Court
abolished life sentences without the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders
who did not kill anyone. The court determined that intrinsically juveniles are
different that adults and have a chance to change themselves and should have
the opportunity to someday prove that they are capable of reentering society if
they have not taken a human life.
In both cases, in some way the US Supreme Court decided that such sentences
against juveniles violated the "cruel and unusual" provision of the Eighth
Amendment of the United States Constitution. These two cases were very
controversial with proponents on both sides of the fence, some praising the
actions of the court, while others decrying the decisions.

This term paper is comprised of five questions designed to test your legal
reasoning and sensitivity to social issues. Utilizing 1 to 2 pages each, critically
answer the following 5 broad questions. The term paper should be approximately
5 to 10 pages in length. The questions are listed at the very end of this
assignment sheet. In answering the questions, document your responses with
support material taken from library sources, your textbook, or the Internet. Be
sure to give proper attribution to each source you document (e.g., provide URLs
for online sources).
Do not use this assignment to vent your personal opinions on the issues covered
in the case study. Your goal should be to present a fair and impersonal review of
the issues based on good legal reasoning, sensitivity to societal issues, and
careful research.
The answer to each of the five questions should be roughly 1-2 pages long,
typed single spaced. Margins must be 1-inch on all sides. Pages beyond page 10
will neither be read nor graded.

Complete and
accurate citations are expected for all works used in preparing the term paper.
Use either the APA or MLA inline footnote style; do not use endnotes or
footnotes. Failure to provide complete and accurate citations will result in a grade
of “F” without the opportunity for rework.
Instructions on citing sources utilizing the APA (American Psychological
Association) reference style can be found at or a
comparable website.
Instructions on citing sources utilizing the MLA (Modern Language Association)
reference style can be found at or a comparable website.

Supplemental Information on the Case Study
The Washington Post
Wednesday, March 2, 2005
By Charles Lane
5-4 Supreme Court Abolishes Juvenile Executions
The Supreme Court abolished capital punishment for juvenile offenders yesterday, ruling
5 to 4 that it is unconstitutional to sentence anyone to death for a crime he or she
committed while younger than 18.
In concluding that the death penalty for minors is cruel and unusual punishment, the court
cited a "national consensus" against the practice, along with medical and social-science
evidence that teenagers are too immature to be held accountable for their crimes to the
same extent as adults.
Christopher Simmons, age 17 when he kidnapped and killed a woman, was spared along
with 72 others. (AP)
The court said its judgment, which overturned a 1989 ruling that had upheld the death
penalty for 16- and 17-year-old offenders, was also influenced by a desire to end the
United States' international isolation on the issue.
As of yesterday, 20 states, including Virginia, permitted the death penalty for offenders
younger than 18. That is five fewer than allowed the practice in 1989.
"From a moral standpoint, it would be misguided to equate the failings of a minor with
those of an adult, for a greater possibility exists that a minor's character deficiencies will
be reformed," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in the opinion for the court.
"Our determination," Kennedy added, "finds confirmation in the stark reality that the
United States is the only country in the world that continues to give official sanction to
the juvenile death penalty."
The ruling was the second time in three years the court had carved out a new categorical
exception to the death penalty, having banned capital punishment for the moderately
mentally retarded in 2002.
It came after 59 people were executed in 2004, the fewest since the Supreme Court
permitted states to resume the death penalty in 1976. That decline is the result in part of
lower murder rates and in part of events such as the exoneration of some death row
inmates by DNA evidence.

Thus, the ruling showed that society's reconsideration of capital punishment has
penetrated the court, with the four liberal justices who joined Kennedy yesterday -- John
Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer -- pushing
hardest to change capital punishment with the occasional help of either Kennedy or his
fellow moderate conservative on the court, Sandra Day O'Connor.
O'Connor, who voted with the four death penalty skeptics and Kennedy in the 2002 case,
dissented yesterday, along with the court's conservatives, Chief Justice William H.
Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
By striking down yesterday the death sentence a Missouri jury had imposed on
Christopher Simmons -- who was 17 on Sept. 8, 1993, when he broke into Shirley
Crook's house, kidnapped her and threw her, bound and gagged, into a river -- the court
also canceled the death sentences of 72 others for crimes they committed while younger
than age 18.
One of those inmates, Shermaine A. Johnson, 26, had been awaiting execution in
Virginia for a rape and murder he committed in 1994 at age 16. Virginia set a minimum
death-penalty eligibility age at 16, but that is now unconstitutional. Maryland bars the
death penalty for those younger than 18; there is no death penalty in the District.
By far the largest impact of yesterday's ruling will be felt in Texas, where there are 29
juvenile offenders awaiting execution, and Alabama, where there are 14. No other state
has more than five.
There have been 22 executions of juveniles since 1976, 13 of them in Texas.
Kennedy's opinion rested in large part on the fact that 30 states, including the 12 states
that have no capital punishment, forbid the death penalty for offenders younger than 18.
That number represented an increase of five since the court upheld the juvenile death
penalty in 1989.
The court weighs death penalty laws according to what a 1958 ruling called the "evolving
standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society," and looks to state
legislation and jury verdicts to decide whether a "national consensus" has developed
against a previously accepted practice.
Christopher Simmons, age 17 when he kidnapped and killed a woman, was spared along
with 72 others. (AP)
In 2002, the court voted 6 to 3 to strike down the death penalty for the moderately
mentally retarded, which it had upheld 5 to 4 in 1989. In the 2002 case, Atkins v.
Virginia, the court noted that the number of death penalty states banning that practice had
grown from two in 1989 to 13 in 2002, while none had gone the other way.

The recent shift of states against the juvenile death penalty, though less dramatic than the
evidence the court found sufficient in the mental-retardation case, was enough to carry
the day, Kennedy concluded.
For the Supreme Court itself, perhaps the most significant effect of yesterday's decision is
to reaffirm the role of international law in constitutional interpretation.
The European Union, human right lawyers from the United Kingdom and a group of
Nobel Peace laureates had urged the court in friend-of-the-court briefs to strike down the
juvenile death penalty.
In saying that this strong expression of international sentiment "provide[s] respected and
significant confirmation for our own conclusions," Kennedy lengthened the recent string
of decisions in which the court has incorporated foreign views -- and decisively rejected
the arguments of those on the court, led by Scalia, who say it should consider U.S. law
There were actually six votes in Kennedy's favor on that point yesterday, because in her
dissenting opinion O'Connor agreed with Kennedy that international trends affect the
meaning of "cruel and unusual punishment" in modern times.
O'Connor's opinion suggested she came fairly close to joining the majority entirely. If she
were a legislator, O'Connor wrote, "I, too, would be inclined to support legislation setting
a minimum age of 18 in this context."
But, O'Connor wrote, too few states had recently enacted such laws to convince her that
the country generally had "set its face" against the juvenile death penalty.
Scalia, in a separate dissent joined by Rehnquist and Thomas, took the majority to task
for "proclaim[ing] itself sole arbiter of our Nation's moral standards -- and in the course
of discharging that awesome responsibility purport[ing] to take guidance from the views
of foreign courts and legislatures."
Noting that most countries have more restrictive abortion laws than the United States,
Scalia accused the court of "invok[ing] alien law when it agrees with one's own thinking,
and ignor[ing] it otherwise." He read his opinion from the bench, a sign of strong
disapproval for the court's decision.
Scalia also pointed out that the 18 death-penalty states that limit capital punishment to
offenders 18 and older amount to 47 percent of the 38 death-penalty states.
"Words have no meaning if the views of less than 50 percent of death penalty States can
constitute a national consensus," he wrote.
For Kennedy, yesterday's opinion appeared to represent a distance traveled since the 1989
case, in which he voted with Scalia to uphold the juvenile death penalty.

As recently as April 2003, the court -- with Kennedy's support -- granted Oklahoma's
request to reinstate the death sentence of a 17-year-old offender after a federal appeals
court had blocked it.
In 2002, the court refused to hear two appeals from younger-than-18 offenders asking it
to reconsider their cases in light of Atkins. Again, Kennedy was in the majority.
Even at the Oct. 12 oral argument in the case decided yesterday, Kennedy said he was
"very concerned" that gangs might use juveniles as "hit men" if there were no death
But yesterday's packet of opinions contained a brief writing by Stevens, co-signed by
Ginsburg, that patted Kennedy on the back for coming around to their point of view.
If the "great lawyers" of the early republic were on the court today, Stevens wrote, "I
would expect them to join Justice Kennedy's opinion for the court."
The case is Roper v. Simmons, No. 03-633.

Supplemental Information on the Case Study
The Washington Post
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
By Robert Barnes
Supreme Court restricts life without parole for juveniles
Juveniles may not be sentenced to life in prison without parole for any crime short of
homicide, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday, expanding its command that young
offenders must be treated differently from adults even for heinous crimes.
'Sexually dangerous' inmates can be kept in prison indefinitely
The court ruled 5 to 4 that denying juveniles who have not committed homicide a chance
to ever rejoin society is counter to national and "global" consensus and violates the
Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
The decision follows the court's 2005 decision that, no matter what crime they commit,
juveniles may not be executed. It also reinforced the court's view that the Eighth
Amendment's protections against harsh punishment must be interpreted in light of the
country's "evolving standards of decency."
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said states must provide juveniles
who receive lengthy sentences a "meaningful" chance at some point to show they should
be released.
"By denying the defendant the right to reenter the community, the state makes an
irrevocable judgment about that person's value and place in society," Kennedy wrote.
"This judgment is not appropriate in light of a juvenile nonhomicide offender's capacity
for change and limited moral culpability."
The case involved Terrance Jamar Graham, who was convicted of robbery in
Jacksonville, Fla., when he was 16. He received a short jail term and probation but was
arrested again at 17 for taking part in a home invasion. The judge in the case sent him
away for life.
Kennedy said there were 129 juveniles in 11 states, including Virginia, who had not
committed homicides but were serving sentences of life without parole. The majority of
them -- 77 -- are in Florida.
Kennedy was joined by the court's liberal wing: Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader
Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined them in rejecting the outcome of Graham's case,
saying the sentence was so harsh as to be unconstitutional. But he did not agree with the
majority's broader pronouncement on life sentences, and said decisions should be made
on a case-by-case basis.
"Some crimes are so heinous, and some juvenile offenders so highly culpable, that a
sentence of life without parole may be entirely justified under the Constitution," Roberts
Experts said that the decision will probably lead to years of litigation but that it
represented an important move.
"It is indisputably the court's most important non-capital Eighth Amendment decision,"
said Douglas A. Berman, a law professor and criminal sentencing expert at Ohio State
University. "It is the first highly tangible setting where the court's death penalty work has
crossed over" to another aspect of sentencing.
In recent years, a slim five-member majority of the court -- with the retiring Stevens in
the forefront -- has both limited the death penalty and shielded juveniles. The court has
said that capital punishment was reserved for those who take a life and that juveniles, no
matter the crime, were not eligible for death because of their limited culpability.
Monday's decision was sought by juvenile justice advocates and child psychologists who
said the natural extension was to prevent juveniles from being "sentenced to death in
prison" without the possibility of release.
'Sexually dangerous' inmates can be kept in prison indefinitely
The decision did not forbid sentencing someone younger than 18 to life in prison; it only
required the state "to provide him or her with some realistic opportunity to obtain release
before the end of that term." Graham's lawyer, Bryan S. Gowdy of Jacksonville, noted
during oral arguments that a law could be constitutional even if it required 40 years to
pass before the offender could ask for release.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a stinging dissent, making the now-familiar argument that
interpreting the Eighth Amendment according to evolving societal standards is "entirely
the court's creation."
He said the majority's logic also fails. "The court is quite willing to accept that a 17-yearold
who pulls the trigger on a firearm can demonstrate sufficient depravity and
irredeemability to be denied reentry into society, but insists that a 17-year-old who rapes
an 8-year-old and leaves her for dead does not," Thomas wrote.
"The question of what acts are 'deserving' of what punishments is bound so tightly with
questions of morality and social conditions as to make it, almost by definition, a question
for legislative resolution," he wrote.
His dissent was joined in full by Justice Antonin Scalia and in part by Justice Samuel A.
Alito Jr.

Thomas and Kennedy sparred over what constitutes a national and international
consensus. Thomas pointed out that 37 states, the federal government and a number of
foreign countries keep life without parole as an option for juveniles.
But Kennedy noted that only a handful of states impose the penalty and that the United
States is virtually alone in such sentences. "In continuing to impose life without parole
sentences on juveniles who did not commit homicide, the United States adheres to a
sentencing practice rejected the world over," Kennedy wrote.
The court made no distinction in its decision in the age of the juvenile at the time of the
crime. It did not rule on a separate case it had heard from Florida, concerning Joe
Sullivan, who was sentenced to life without parole for a rape he committed at 13.
Sullivan's lawyer, Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, said the case was
probably dismissed because of procedural problems, but he said that Sullivan, like the
others serving life terms, would now receive a chance to challenge his sentence.
More than 2,000 juveniles are serving life sentences for homicide. Stevenson
acknowledged that the next legal front might include a challenge on their behalf, although
he said some states, such as Texas, already are prohibiting life without parole sentences
for all crimes committed by juveniles.
The case is Graham v. Florida.

Answer each of the five following questions/items. Your answer to each
question/item should be about 1-2 pages long, typed single spaced. Your answer
should reflect research on your part ??" from library sources, government
documents, your textbook, and/or the Internet. Give proper attribution to your
research sources (e.g., for Internet sources, provide a URL)
1. Do you believe there is a growing common consensus that juveniles are
somehow less culpable for their crimes since they have not been in this world
as long as an adult or do you believe that there is growing common
consensus that juveniles are just as guilty as an adult when they make a
conscious decision to commit a crime? Explain.
2. Is it somehow hypocritical to not allow juveniles to marry, sign contracts, fight
in a war, or have a consensual relationship with an adult, but allow them to be
tried as an adult for a crime they commit? Does a juvenile offender somehow
give up their rights as a juvenile when they commit a certain type of crime?
3. Do you believe that executing someone who committed their crime as a
juvenile is a violation of the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual
punishments? Why or why not. Do you believe that a life term with no parole
against someone who committed a non-murder crime as a juvenile is a
violation of the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishments?
Why or why not. Should this determination be left up to the trial court when
weighing the evidence and specific circumstances and elements of the crime
4. In coming to its decision about not allowing executions for juveniles the US
Supreme Court cited "international sentiment" in deciding to restrict this
ultimate form of punishment to only adults. Should the United States Supreme
Court follow the law of the United States and the opinions of United States
citizens exclusively when coming to a decision about a case or should they
also take into consideration internationally recognized standards and
sentiment? Explain.
5. What crimes, if committed, should allow for a juvenile defendant to be tried as
an adult? Are juveniles tried as adults too often or rather too infrequently?
Make a case for trying juveniles more often as adults. Alternatively, make a
separate case for not allowing as many juveniles to be tried adults.

Excerpt From Essay:

Title: Juvenile Justice System

Total Pages: 3 Words: 870 Bibliography: 1 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: In 2-3 pages, and using APA style formatting, summarize the article, ?Juvenile Justice System: Contemporary Juvenile Justice System and Juvenile Detention Alternatives? and provide the salient points of the article.

Excerpt From Essay:

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