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Debate :Teen Defendants Should be Judged by Teen Juries

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for 90 min

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If you or a loved one faces a juvenile criminal case, the matter may be referred to Teen Court for pre-filing resolution.  This is a good thing, as it avoids, at least initially, juvenile court if the juvenile is found not guilty or the juvenile successfully completes the terms of probation imposed by Teen Court. It is a diversion program that uses court-like procedures in courtroom settings intended to provide juvenile offenders with no prior criminal history an opportunity to avoid juvenile court.  

The typical delinquent youth referred to teen court is probably 12 to 15 years old, in trouble for the first time, and charged with vandalism, stealing or other non-violent offence. Teen court offers a non-binding, informal alternative to the regular juvenile court process.

The concern is that adult jurors may hold negative attitudes about youth that might influence their decision making in a case involving a young defendant. Two studies examined whether and under what conditions a defendant's age affects jurors' decisions about the guilt and sentencing of an accused.

Join us in today's debate session to further understand whether teen defendants should be judged by teen juries or not! Let’s debate

How do I prepare for this Masterclass?

3 Question  For and Against

For the team: Teen Defendants Should be Judged by Teen Juries–Agree
(Teen offenders should be questioned, judged, and sentenced by a jury of their peers)


1.  If the teen juries are allowed to judge, then don't you feel their decision-making would be more biased and may give a second chance to the offenders due to lack of experience and farsightedness?

2. Teens sometimes behave in an impulsive, irrational, or dangerous way. According to the Health Encyclopedia from the University of Rochester Medical Center, the rational part of a teen’s brain is not fully developed and will not be until age 25. In such a scenario, don't you think, rational thinking and fair judgment would get affected?
 

Against team: Teen Defendants Should be Judged by Teen Juries–Disagree
(Teen offenders should not be questioned, judged, and sentenced by a jury of their peers)


1  Since there is a huge scarcity of judges in India, courts could spend more time with the defendants of serious crimes. What is your take on this?

2 . Peers crave the acceptance and approval of their peers As per the research when compared with the traditional juvenile system, the percentage of repeat offenders ( recidivism) had declined from 27% to 6-9% in the USA. What's your view on this?

3 The teen jurors can think in a critical and analytical manner as they formulate their questions for the defendant and determine the defendant's sentence. Share you opinion

4 Because the teens are being judged by other teenagers, they are held fully responsible for their actions, and are punished likewise.

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