1. TheCubsFan45
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    TheCubsFan45 New Member

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    What would it take for a minor to be charged as an adult?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by TheCubsFan45, Feb 25, 2012.

    What would it take for a sixteen-year-old kid who commits homicide to be charged as an adult? Would it be entirely up to the judge, or would anyone else have power to lobby for it? For example, would the parents of the victim, or a lawyer, or anyone else have be able to influence the decision at all?

    Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. TheIllustratedMan
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    TheIllustratedMan Active Member

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    I would think that a sixteen-year-old would almost ALWAYS be tried as an adult for homocide. It really depends on the circumstances of the case.

    In any case, the district attorney decides whether to levy charges against the suspect. I don't know all of the ins-and-outs, but often (maybe always? I'm not 100% here) the evidence is first presented to a grand jury, who decides whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the case to trial. Once the case is brought to trial, the DA can charge however he sees fit. The judge may accept the charges and schedule a trial, or lessen or dismiss the charges for whatever reason. There can be multiple charges brought against a defendant for the same crime, and levels of each charge (ie. first degree, second degree, third degree, and so on).

    You ask about parents, lawyers, etc... there are often "victim impact statements" that are entered into evidence. These would probably be part of the DA's body of evidence that is presented first to the grand jury, then to the judge. They aren't binding, by any means, but they would serve to influence the decisions of both the DA and the judge. Of course, in a homicide case, what do you really say in a victim impact statement? "I loved him, and now he's dead. My world is shattered. Life is hard."

    Here's something that happens to be from Colorado, but it's probably fairly broad-based:
    http://www.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/olls/PDF/WHEN%20A%20CHILD%20CAN%20BE%20TRIED%20AS%20AN%20ADULT.pdf

    Here's a basic overview of the criminal law proceedings:
    http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/criminal-law/criminal-law/criminal_proceeding.htm

    Hope that helps!
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    The age of criminal responsibility for children is 10 in England. After this age, if a child has commited murder (we don't have 'homicide'), or even if the person does not die but they have been severely harmed, the child can be tried in an adult court in the same way as an adult, although the proceedings are sometimes closed and their identity protected (so that when they leave prison they can start afresh as adults, goes the theory). There have been a few examples of this e.g. the James Bulgur case. In other countries, and different states of the US, I think the age of criminal responsibility varies, but I don't think it's ever higher than 12 anywhere.
    So the answer is, the law demands that a 16 yr old be tried in court for murder, in the US or in the UK, and the judge's opinion has no bearing on whether on not s/he is tried. The parents could not interfere, they could only haul in experts to suggest s/he was insane or something.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there is no one answer to this... other factors would come into play, such as mental and emotional age, so it's not as simple as how old one is, though in most cases, at 16, the accused would be tried as an adult, in the us...
    12 is not the upper limit for being tried as a juvenile throughout the us... in some states, it's as high as 16 or 18...
     
  5. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    Anything within the following circumstances:

    1. Any premeditated murder, robbery etc. that is well thought out and that caused harm to the point where it can be repeated again
    2. If a crime was to inflict damage to a younger child and it is great enough to where it could not be avoided (was not an accident or a fuse igniting)
    3. If the teenager was a delinquent and is marked as a danger to society.
    4. If the judge feels that due to the circumstances of the crime that in order for justice to be served for the family and community.
    5. If the 16 year old was mentally incapable of his own actions but does not file under insanity
     

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