The Law: And Juries for Every Child

Adults are entitled to a jury trial in serious criminal cases. But the right is not so clear for a child. Now a three-judge U.S. district court has ruled that, in federal courts at least, juveniles have a right to trial by jury just like their elders.

The case concerned a 16-year-old boy accused of violating the marijuana laws. Under the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act, he could be tried as an adult before a jury. But that would mean facing full adult penalties, which for him would be a sentence of from five to 20 years upon conviction. On the other hand,...

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