As a prosecutor, factors that would make me not prosecute a juvenile offender are the age, history of crime, and the severity of the offense. Also, I would look at the intent to commit a crime, and request psychiatric evaluations of the offender. Some juveniles may have mental problems that make them commit certain crimes. A mental evaluation may enable the court to determine whether the offender knows how to differentiate right from wrong. Office of the United States Attorneys (n.d) indicates that Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1938 gave the Attorney General the right to prosecute juvenile offenders with the exceptions of offenses punishable by death or imprisonment. As a prosecutor, I would suggest probation or community service for a juvenile offender who has committed minor crimes. The reason is that children can receive redemption and reform quickly. More so, some juveniles lack a sense of maturity and responsibility. Probation and community service might make the offender avoid future crimes.
Furthermore, factors that I would consider regarding waiving the case to an adult court would be the nature of the alleged crime, age, rehabilitative prospects, maturity, and history of crimes. A juvenile who is 16, 17 or 18 and has committed crimes such as murder or robbery with violence may be transferred to adult court depending on the severity and recurrences of their crimes. US Department of Justice (2011) notes that in presumptive waiver cases, a juvenile who meets age, transgression, or other legislative inceptions must present waivers disproving the presumption or the courts will grant a waiver, and the juvenile will be transferred to a criminal court. The bulletin indicates that before the court waives the case to an adult court, they have to confirm that all the legal necessities are met.
Office of the United States Attorneys. (n.d). 116. Juvenile Delinquency Prosecution –
Introduction. United States Department of Justice. Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-116-juvenile-delinquency-prosecution-introduction
US Department of Justice. (2011). Trying Juveniles as Adults: An Analysis of State Transfer
Laws and Reporting. National Report Series. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/232434.pdf
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