Therefore, the same would hold for juvenile courts as well. Juveniles facing serious criminal charges should be given the same legal protections as adults. The Court did not stop states from allowing juveniles to be tried by juries. Do Undocumented Immigrants Have Constitutional Rights? Ann., Tit. All juveniles appealed the denial of their requests for jury trials. The Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania and North Carolina affirmed the denial of the jury trials in juvenile court. The overriding due process standard for juvenile proceedings is fundamental fairness, per In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, and In re Winship, 397 U.S. 358. In McKeiver v. Pennsylvania (1971), the Supreme Court consolidated multiple juvenile justice cases to address the right to a trial by jury in juvenile court. Case Summary of McKeiver v. Pennsylvania: This case is the consolidation of several cases from Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Specifically, they should be entitled to a trial by a fair and impartial jury under the Sixth Amendment. We should, therefore, provide jury trials for the juveniles in these cases to ensure that they are not prejudged by a single juvenile court judge. His opinion attempted to preserve the flexibility and individuality of juvenile delinquency proceedings. No adult would face possible imprisonment for up to 10 years and be denied a jury trial, Justice Douglas reasoned. Definition and Examples, What Is Double Jeopardy? In McKeiver v. Pennsylvania (1971), het Hooggerechtshof meerdere jeugdrecht gevallen geconsolideerd aan het juiste adres om een proef door jury in jeugdrechtbank. The juvenile courts, with their many shortcomings, have not lived up to their promise of focusing on rehabilitation and the paternal attention juveniles should receive. At the time of the … McKEIVER v. PENNSYLVANIA 528 Opinion of BLACKMUN, J. I The issue arises understandably, for the Court in a series of cases already has emphasized due process factors protective of the juvenile: 1. Blackmun was specifically concerned that allowing trials by jury would turn juvenile court proceedings into a "fully adversarial process." Attorneys on behalf of the states argued that juveniles are not guaranteed the right to a trial by jury under the Sixth Amendment. The juveniles were divided into groups. Decided June 21, 1971 403 U.S. 528ast|>* 403 U.S. 528. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari for the cases from both States. The majority opinion held that juveniles do not have the right to a trial by jury under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments. The cases made their way to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of North Carolina. Thus, there is no check on the government by the community at large. However, it maintained that a trial by jury was not a necessary protection in the juvenile justice system. 322. McKeiver v. Pennsylvania is significant because it held on to the notion that juvenile courts are fundamentally different in approach and purpose than their criminal court counterparts. A juvenile prosecution is not considered civil or criminal. McKeiver versus Pennsylvania was a court case held in the United States Supreme Court during the years of 1970 and 1971. The courts in all of the cases denied the juveniles a jury trial. No. A jury trial is not required in juvenile courts, particularly when the general public is permitted to attend juvenile proceedings. Joseph McKeiver, then age 16, in May 1968 was charged with robbery, larceny, and receiving stolen goods (felonies under Pennsylvania law, Pa. Stat. In doing so, the Court aimed to restore faith in a system that did not always achieve its intended purpose. 322 for a jury trial were denied, and they were adjudged juvenile delinquents under Pennsylvania law. Unlike adult criminals who we view as making conscious choices and are responsible for their acts, the juvenile system rests on the assumption that juveniles act based on environmental forces not quite in their control. The requests of appellants in No. A bench trial where a judge hears the evidence and determines the fate of the accused better enables the state to do what is best for the juvenile. States may still use juries if they so choose, but the Due Process Clause does not require it. In that vein, most States do not require jury trials in juvenile cases. Thus, the entirety of the Sixth Amendment does not necessarily apply, and jury trials are not required in juvenile cases. Joseph McKeiver, then age 16, in May 1968 was charged with robbery, larceny, and receiving stolen goods (felonies under Pennsylvania law, Pa. Stat. Justice Blackmun chose not to continue a trend of increasing constitutional protections for juveniles, ending a court-imposed reformation of juvenile justice. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Star Athletica, L.L.C. Limiting juvenile proceedings to a jury trial might prevent judges from experimenting with juvenile justice. Criminal jury trials should not be constitutionally required of the States, either under the Sixth Amendment or due process. Justices William O. Douglas, Hugo Black, and Harlan dissented. McKeiver had allegedly participated with 20 or 30 other youths in pursuing three young teenagers and taking 25 cents from them. Brewer v. Williams: Can You Unintentionally Waive Your Right to an Attorney? The majority opinion in McKeiver v. Pennsylvania was delivered by Justice Harry A. Blackmun, but Justices Byron White, William J. Brennan Jr., and John Marshall Harlan filed their own concurring opinions, expanding on different aspects of the case. Does the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee a right to a jury trial in juvenile court? The juveniles in these cases were charged with what would otherwise be crimes punishable by imprisonment if committed by adults. In McKeiver v. Pennsylvania (1971), the Supreme Court consolidated multiple juvenile justice cases to address the right to a trial by jury in juvenile court. McKeiver Background on the Case: Brief Facts: Decision of the Supreme Court: Who: Joseph McKeiver, 16 What: Charged with robbery, larceny, and receiving stolen goods; acts of juvenile delinquency When: May 1968 Where: Philadelphia Whether the Due Process Clause of the 14th Do juveniles have a constitutional right to a trial by jury under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments in delinquency proceedings? ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Thus, that difference argues against using jury trials in juvenile court. In the Pennsylvania cases one of the appellants, a 15 year old, was charged with robbery, larceny, and receiving stolen goods; the other, a 16 year old, was charged with assault on a police officer. McKeiver versus Pennsylvania was a court case held in the United States Supreme Court during the years of 1970 and 1971. Further, judges and law enforcement officers often incorrectly treat juveniles not as delinquents but as criminals. McKeiver v. Pennsylvania; Supreme Court of the United States: Argued December 10, 1970 Decided June 21, 1971; Full case name: McKeiver v. Pennsylvania: Holding; A trial by jury is not constitutionally required in the adjudicative phase of a state juvenile court delinquency proceeding. H. Armstrong Roberts / ClassicStock / Getty Images. The Court held that juveniles in juvenile criminal proceedings were not entitled to a jury trial by the Sixth or Fourteenth Amendments. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. A number of juveniles in Pennsylvania and North Carolina were adjudicated delinquent on charges that would be criminal offenses if committed by an adult. Both courts found that juveniles did not have a Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury. The Court's plurality opinion left the precise reasoning for the decision unclear. She has also worked at the Superior Court of San Francisco's ACCESS Center. Attorneys on behalf of the juveniles argued that judges had violated their right to due process when rejecting requests for a jury trial.