Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Stephen Day has posted Comparative Analysis of Juvenile Justice Between the United States and Spanish-Speaking Countries (UNT Dallas Law Review 2023) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This paper highlights the relative lack of due process protections afforded to children in conflict with the law in the United States (U.S.) and identifies statutory safeguards adopted by Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Spain to promote the fair treatment of juvenile offenders and to protect them as children. The U.S. must reform its juvenile justice system and embrace a rights-based approach to better protect the rights of children. While the U.S. is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and constitutionally recognizes some protections for juvenile offenders, it fails the latter by defining such a group too broadly through no minimum age of criminal responsibility, exposing juvenile offenders to life without parole, and failing to confine youth separately from adults. While there are many opportunities for improvement of the juvenile justice system, these reforms target significant weaknesses by reducing the stigmatization of children under the age of fourteen charged with gang or criminal activity; by aligning juvenile sentencing with modern international conceptions of the limits of such sentencing; and by preventing their abuse in adult facilities.