Determining whether to try a child in the juvenile or the criminal justice system will have an impact on every step of his or her experience. Although the exact laws and practices of the systems vary from state to state, broad underlying beliefs differentiate the two systems. While the juvenile system is often thought to be more lenient in its punishments, there are often stricter regulations throughout the process. In the juvenile system a child may not have a right to a jury trial or bail. Juvenile records are not open to public access like criminal records and parole is very different between the two systems. When the child in question is considered a child, the courts act as more of a parent attempting to punish but also protect.
Differences between juvenile and adult criminal justice systems exist at every step of the way. In the website Four Kids, Four Crimes, follow four cases and examine how and why two defendants were tried as juveniles and two were tried as adults. After reading all four case stories, answer the following questions:
- Would you try Christian Fernandez, from the beginning of Chapter 5 of your text, in adult court or juvenile court?
- What criteria did you use in making your decision?
- How did you apply those criteria to the case of Christian Fernandez?
Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references.