Angiulo: When and How Juveniles Face Adult Criminal Penalties
Monday, October 28, 2013
Typically, people between the ages of 7 and 18 years old who face criminal charges will have them addressed in Juvenile Court. That court is governed by a statute, which explicitly treats children “not as criminals, but as children in need of aid.” As such, the proceedings of juvenile court are not deemed criminal proceedings.
The exceptions to this rule are when a felony offense occurs and the offender is between the ages of 14 and 18. The juvenile court does not have jurisdiction over cases in which a youth between 14 and 18 years of age is charged with first or second degree murder, therefore the prosecution moves forward as if the defendant were an adult. Instead of filing in juvenile court, the complaint is often filed in district court prior to the facts being presented to a grand jury and the case proceeding in Superior Court. In the Superior Court the defendant will face indictment under the same murder statute as everyone else and, therefore, face the same penalties, including life in prison.
There are, however, some other situations when a juvenile will face adult penalties for their actions. In these occasions 14 to 18 year-olds are charged with a crime punishable by state prison time and the defendant has either previously been committed to the department of youth services or has committed an offense involving infliction or the threat of serious bodily harm. In these circumstances the Commonwealth has the ability to proceed against the juvenile by an indictment seeking adult penalties for the crime committed.
This procedure is known as prosecuting the juvenile as a “youthful offender” and makes meaningful differences during the trial and pretrial stages. First, unlike most cases in juvenile court, youthful offender records are available for public inspection. In addition, a trial of any juvenile charged by indictment will be open to the public. Public access includes members of press and this is a marked difference from the ordinarily closed proceedings of the Juvenile Court.
Juvenile Proceedings are occasions when the court has the opportunity to use its authority to, very often, redirect a defendant's life for the better. Many people would agree that, for the most part, kids who find themselves in Juvenile Court may need additional help in their lives because of circumstances beyond their control. Some circumstances are, however, controlled by individuals and some individuals do terrible things. The legislature has drawn a distinct line in the sand when it comes to Youthful Offenders and Murder Indictments as to when people, even juveniles, should face punitive consequences for their actions. Law Enforcement, including District Attorneys Offices, are granted a distinct ability under the law to hold these offenders accountable through our courts.
Related Slideshow: 100 Fall Bests In Central Massachusetts
7 Best Bike Rides
One of the best ways to get out and see the local fall scenery is on two wheels. We've rounded up a set of great routes for riders of every level. So get out there and pedal, Central Mass.
Photo: The Ware River Trail gets you out and into the foliage.
25 Best Apple Spots
They are one of the best autumn flavors, and from fresh eating to baking pies, you'll want to enjoy the bounty of fresh apple picking throughout the region. Check out these 25 great farms all over the region where you'll find the varieties you love the best (and some you may not have tried yet).
Photo: Don't miss the juicy red apples at Berlin Orchards.
7 Great Fall Events
Fall is a great season for concerts, festivals, and more, and you won't want to miss these top events that are coming up this month. From Rock & Shock in Worcester to Field to Table Festival at Old Sturbridge Village, take part in Central Mass's big fall events.
Photo: A must-do for Fall is the EcoTarium's Great Pumpkin Fest on October 19th.
6 Perfect Pumpkin Patches
It's peak pumpkin season, and now's the time to hit the patch and pick your perfect pumpkin. We've got 6 of the best local farms for fun for the whole family. Pick a new favorite!
Photo: The sprawling patches of Bolton Farm yield 30 different varieties for picking… better bring a wagon!
12 Best Adventures
As the weather cools, your sense of adventure does not have to! Here are 12 thrilling outdoor activities across New England that you can enjoy this Columbus Day weekend and beyond. Whether you are a beginner or an expert outdoors, each of these events are excellent opportunities to channel your inner adventurer.
Photo: Mount Washington State Forest in Western MA has all kinds of natural splendors to explore.
22 Best Halloween Events
Here comes Halloween, and whether you’ve got little ones and need a more mellow fright or you are thirsty for fear, you are in the right place. New England, with its history of witch trials and hauntings, is the perfect place to celebrate. Check out these 22 spookfests… all within an hour's drive of Central Mass.
Photo: Don't miss the scary paths of Hick's Corn Maze in Charlemont.
8 Best Corn Mazes
Massachusetts is home to beautiful farmlands and orchards, and quite a few of them boast corn mazes of their own. Check out our list to see where you should go to get lost in Massachusetts--it's a great family activity for a Fall weekend.
Photo: Ready to get lost in a corn maze? Consider Kimball Farm's "Boston Strong" maze.
9 Best Foliage Drives
Pack up your beloveds in the car and take a gander at nature's splendor with these 9 great foliage drives close to home and farther afield. Combine your trip with some pumpkin or apple picking, and you've got pretty much the perfect fall expedition.
Photo: Right here in Central Mass, take a scenic drive that skirts Quabbin Reservoir.
4 Fantastic Festivals
Fall Festivals are still up and running this month, and our guide to the season's best has 4 great events still coming up. From seafood in Rhode Island to harvest dining in Maine, plan your next getaway, here.
Photo: Who doesn't love a Fall festival? These kids know where it's at.
- Angiulo: Was Worcester’s Weekend Sobriety Roadblock Constitutional?
- Leonardo Angiulo: ‘Self-Defense’ and Massachusetts Law
- Leonardo Angiulo: Aaron Hernandez Should Probably Lawyer Up
- Leonardo Angiulo: Auto Accidents + Recovering Damages
- Leonardo Angiulo: Can A Minor Be Arrested For Cyberbullying?
- Leonardo Angiulo: Criminal Justice—What The TV Shows Leave Out