Joey, Jermaine and Billy were three thirteen year old boys in Anytown, USA. One hot summer day, the three bored teens were wandering around, smoking a little weed and looking for something to do. Joey was the leader of the small group and he was short of cash. He suggested they head over to the playground and shake down some younger kids for cash. Jermaine and Billy went along for the show, but did not participate in any of the bullying. All three were caught and arrested after a mother of one of the younger kids identified them for authorities. Each boy was sent into the juvenile justice system for resolution.
Now, assume that instead of shaking down kids for cash, the three bored boys participated in (A) an armed robbery; (B) a rape of a seven year old girl; or (C) the murder and dismemberment of another boy who would not join their “gang”.
- Does the nature of the appeal of juvenile justice systems change with the severity of the crime? Should it? Based upon your readings and your understanding of the function of juvenile justice, discuss your opinion about the factors which should influence the decision to recommend adult justice system prosecution v. juvenile justice system prosecution. Does the age of the child matter? Does the severity or depravity of the crime matter? Does the social circumstance or parenting of the child matter? You decide in your initial post.