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Institution Affiliation



TheIn re Gault case was a breakthrough for the USA supreme courtdecision that apprehended that juveniles accused of crimes indeliquescent proceedings must be afforded many of the similar dueprocedural rights as adults. These rights include the right toconfront witnesses, right against personal incrimination, right tocounsel and right to appropriate notification of the charges(Kurlychek et al, 2014).

Thecase was that one morning in 1964 a fifteen-year-old boy calledGerald “(Jerry)” was taken into custody of the county children’sdetention by the sheriff of Gila County without informing theparents. This happened after a neighbor by the name Mrs. Cookcomplained of receiving an inappropriate and offensive telephonecall. It is indicated that Gerald was located by her mother late inthe evening after she found him missing.

Thehearing was scheduled the next morning by the Supreme Court JuvenileJudge known as McGhee who said that he was going to think about thecase. Therefore, he was forced to stay in custody for several daysuntil he was released without any substantial explanation. They foundthat boy was a minor delinquent child since he had an age of 15years, which made them confine at the State Industrial School for aduration until he attains 21 years unless due procedures of lawrelease him.

Itwas later noted that no witness was present and the court had notmade any transcript of review. Notably, the Arizona did not permitany appeal for juvenile cases therefore when Gerald’s motherpetitioned the Supreme Court to obtain her son’s release she wasreferred to the juvenile judge McGhee for hearing.

Inthis case, the victim did not appear at the time of trial of the caseand the court did not resolve whether Gault made the vulgar remarksin the presence of another person. McGhee testified that he thoughtit amounts to disturbing the peace where one person uses obscenelanguage in the presence of another person and he was not able togive the section regarding this according to the Juvenile Code.

Similarly,the boy was transferred and confined in a training school for aperiod of his minority. The hearing of the case held that only tothe adjudicatory stage of the juvenile process may have led to acommitment to a state institution for incarceration. On the otherhand, the Supreme Court never ruled on a juvenile’s right toappellate review but only encouraged the state to provide thoserights.

Thecourt also dwelled much and based its rulings on the fact that GeraldGault was to be punished rather than helped by the juvenile court. Itis evident that the court prohibited “parens patriae” doctrine asthe primary principle of juvenile justice. It held that Gault’scase violated the due procedures of the 14thclause amendment, which resulted in the demonstration of discretionhowever, it compassionately motivated its principles and dueprocesses.

Thetrial was eventually heard by the Supreme Court after the attorneygeneral had obtained a writ of habeas that was observed asconstitutional rights such as right for notice to charges, right tocounsel and right to the questioning of the witness and at the sametime, the review of proceedings was denied. Similarly, the case didnot guarantee any afforded rights to a confrontation that would haveallowed for cross-examination of the witness.

Thecourt also concluded that since the non-criminal attached to juvenileproceedings did not influence the scope of juvenile rights. This casemarked the constitutional domestication of “parens patriae” inthe juvenile court and therefore new due process model thatcontrasted with the historic conformity of juvenile cases hearingsemerged.

TheSupreme Court has simultaneously afforded children due process whichdelivers swift and appropriate punishment and endeavors made torehabilitate and meet the therapeutic needs of juvenile offenders andtheir families are yet to be attained. Also, the amendment of thejuvenile court Codes to explicit public safety aimed at juvenileoffender justice where punishment for offenders is either primary orpurpose to maintain fairness in the juvenile systems (Brezina et al,2015).

Transferof Juveniles to Adult Courts has shown a great significance thejuvenile court judges transferred to adult court to preside overjuvenile cases has resulted to judicial waivers. On the other hand,the filing of some juvenile cases directly to adult courts hasprogressively altered the due process of juvenile offenders in that,the criteria for judicial determinations are presumed to be seriouscases.

Gettingthrough the juvenile crimes is the basic motive for transferring morecases to the adult court systems. In this case, the transfer mayresult into deterrence of juveniles from criminal behavior and ameaningful advancement that is symbolic in nature. With this, it isassumed that the adult courts could provide additional due processprotections that are highly needed in adult court systems, forinstance, the right to bench trail.

Recently,the number of formal delinquency cases that are moved through ajudicial waiver has increased since the transfer is not intended tosend the violent offenders to adult courts but to reduce the rates ofreoffering for the juvenile offender population.


Brezina,T., &amp Agnew, R. (2015). Juvenile Delinquency. The Handbook ofDeviance.

Kurlychek,M. C. (2014). History of Juvenile Courts. In Encyclopedia ofCriminology and Criminal Justice (pp. 2181-2191). Springer New York.