Waiving juvenile cases to a criminal court is a complicated process, and may take some time in order to make the proper decision. There are a few different ways in which this decision is made. In some jurisdictions, the cases may be decided upon an intake unit within the court which then decides to process it formally or informally. Other jurisdictions may use another agency such as the prosecutor’s office, or a social service agency to decide whether the case should go to juvenile or criminal court. When a decision is made to transfer a juvenile case to criminal court, a judicial waiver is petitioned for, and the juvenile judge then has to make the decision whether the case should be criminally prosecuted.
In some places though, the prosecutor has the legal right to make that judgment without involving the juvenile court, and send the case directly to criminal court.When a juvenile commits the crime of homicide, I personally think that any offender 13 years or older should be tried in adult criminal court. I do understand that the juvenile may lack some mental reasoning or may even have some mental disorder, just as I think that anyone who commits violent crimes have this also regardless of age, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be still be tried in criminal court for the horrible crimes they committed. The only part of the sentencing I don’t agree with in convicting a juvenile is to where he is sent to prison.
I do not believe that any minor under the age of 18 should be placed in an adult prison. When the juvenile is 18 years old, I think the offender should be given some sort of hearing to determine whether he is able to withstand being sent to an adult prison. The reason I say this is because there are numerous cases of where juveniles were sent to adult state prisons, and in most cases they were assaulted by the older inmates pretty severely. In Florida from 1995-1999, one out of two juvenile inmates was assaulted, not only by inmates, but also by correctional officers. Compare that to the number of assaults in juvenile prisons, one out of every 35.Two of the most famous recent cases of juvenile killers involve Lionel Tate, and Nathaniel Brazill. Tate, 12 at the time, beat to death 6 year old Tiffany Eunick imitating moves from pro wrestling.
Eunick suffered a fractured skull, lacerated liver, broken rib, internal hemorrhaging and cuts and bruises. I do not believe that he didn’t know what he was doing to the little girl. He had to see that she was probably bleeding from her skull injury, and not to mention most likely screaming in fear and pain.
If so, why didn’t he stop beating the girl? Just this January, Tate is possibly being released from prison based on his overturned conviction stating that his mental competency was never tested before the trial.The other juvenile offender I mentioned above, Nathaniel Brazill, who fatally shot his teacher right in between the eyes just minutes before school was let out for the summer. Brazill was 13 at the time. I also believe in this case that Brazill knew exactly what he was doing, and had probably even planned out the shooting, maybe not in detail but he had the gun, took it to school, and had meant to kill him somehow. Brazill was convicted of first degree murder in adult criminal court, and sentenced to 28 years.