JUVENILES' COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL: WADING THROUGH THE RHETORIC AND THE EVIDENCE
Abbreviated Journal Title
J. Crim. Law Criminol.
ADOLESCENT DECISION-MAKING; ADJUDICATIVE COMPETENCE; CRIMINAL; ADJUDICATION; PSYCHIATRIC-DISORDERS; CLIENT RELATIONSHIP; ASSESSMENT-TOOL; DEFENDANTS; ADULTS; COURT; RIGHTS; Criminology & Penology; Law
This Article examines and refutes the validity of the explosion of claims in the literature that juveniles are not competent to stand trial in criminal court. After providing a framework through which to analyze the legal relationship between juvenile defendants and the requirements for competency to stand trial, this Article summarizes the current advocacy presented by researchers in favor of finding that juvenile defendants are categorically incompetent to stand trial. However, this Article argues that the research in support of such a finding relies upon faulty premises and suffers from critical methodological problems. In support of this conclusion, this Article surveys various studies of juvenile competence undertaken by developmental psychologists, and explains that many such studies share particular logical and practical flaws. Thus, this Article argues that there is in fact no categorical problem of juvenile incompetency to stand trial, and that the solutions proposed to solve this so-called problem are in fact worse than the legal dilemma itself This Article concludes with a number of proposals that would better serve to protect the rights of juvenile defendants, in lieu of a universal finding that such defendants are incompetent to stand trial.
Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology
"JUVENILES' COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL: WADING THROUGH THE RHETORIC AND THE EVIDENCE" (2009). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 2088.