Law

Juvenile Landmark Cases

Damian Anderson

Professor Virginia Jeronimus

Socio 331

14 May 2016

Land Mark Cases

            Every court system can be altered and changed forever passed on a single case. We have seen this through the years with many cases such as Arizona v. Miranda where the reading one’s rights was established; the appropriately named Miranda Rights. The juvenile justice system is no different as there are a number of cases that have changed proceeding and how juveniles are to be handled in the court system.

In 1899 the Illinois Juvenile Court Act was passed. This was due to the work from the Child Saving Movement where the activist called for governmental intervention with acts with children in regards to drinking and other activities (Siegel, Welsh, 465). These were originally handled privately by the family but it became a high concern.  The Illinois Juvenile Court Act established a separate court system for juveniles under the age of 16 (Siegel, Welsh, 474).  The legislature also allowed the juveniles to be “committed to institutions and reform program under the control of the state” (Siegel, Welsh, 474). Key provision of this act included the following: special procedures were developed to govern the adjudication of the juvenile matters, children were to be separated from adults in courts and in institutional programs, and that probation programs were to be developed to assist the courts in making decision in the best interests of the state and child (Siegel, Welsh, 474).

A key landmark case regarding juvenile court system is the case of Graham v. Flordia. Prior to 2010 juveniles could face sentences such as life without parole even fi the crime wasn’t a homicide. This changed in Graham v. Florida when the state ruled that it was a violation of the eighth amendment (Three Supreme Court Cases That Have Shaped Juvenile Justice, PBS). The eight amendment rules that cruel and unusual punishment as unconstitutional.  It should be noted at not all states have followed Florida’s example.

Another important case was of Roper v. Simmons. This was actually a monumental case as it reversed a 1989 court decision which allowed youth under the age of 16 to either life in prison or the death penalty (Three Supreme Court Cases That Have Shaped Juvenile Justice, PBS). In Roper v. Simmons it was as unconstitutional, due to the eighth amendment once again, to sentence a youth under the age of 16 to either of those sentences (Three Supreme Court Cases That Have Shaped Juvenile Justice, PBS).

PBS also mentions the case of Miller v. Alabama, which resembles the previous two cases. This case in 2012 rules that sentencing someone under the age of 18 to life without parole sentences (Three Supreme Court Cases That Have Shaped Juvenile Justice, PBS). This ruling established a requirement for the judge to consider the age of the offender prior to sentencing sentences (Three Supreme Court Cases That Have Shaped Juvenile Justice, PBS). Once again the Eighth Amendment plays a role.

A more daunting court decision came in 1966. The case above are consideration for the juvenile offender, however this ruling concerns the safety of the community. In 1966 the case of Kent v. United States ruled that a juvenile could be tried as an adult after considering the severity of the crime, the offender’s age, and the offender’s criminal history (Jacobs, 10 Supreme Court Cases Every Teen Should Know).

These are predominantly best known cases, and the ones that have had the biggest effect on the modern day juvenile justice system. As time goes on, there will be more landmark case that will change proceedings. These cases will stir up controversy as these did. But in the end, the courts have to focus on what is best for both juveniles and the communities that they reside.

Works Cited:

Siegel, Larry J., Welsh, Brandon C. Juvenile Delinquency: Theory Practice and Law. Cengage Learning. 2015. Print

Jacobs, Tom. 10 Supreme Cases Every Teen Should Know. NY Times. Web.

PBS. Three Supreme Court Cases That Have Changed Juvenile Justice. Web.

 

 

Restoration Programs for Juveniles

Damian Anderson

Professor Virginia Jeronimus

Soci  331

17, April 2016

Juvenile Restoration Programs

            Restoration programs challenge the idea of the use of punishment towards an offender by introducing methods of rehabilitation between those affects and such reconciliation. Rather than punishing and incarcerating, this system would rather use concepts such as apology and reintegration. Easy to see why such programs may receive criticism from the public who would rather punishment as a means of correction. To better understand the programs there needs to be more detail.

The basic principles of restorative justice include: 1) crime is an offense against human relationships, 2) victim and the community are central to justice process, 3) the first priority of justice processes is to assist victims 4) the second priority is to restore the community to the degree possible, 5) the offender has a personal responsibility to victims and to the community for crimes committed,6) the offender will develop improved competency and understanding as a result of restorative justice experience, and 7) stakeholders share responsibilities for restorative justice through partnership for action (Siegel, Welsh, 195).  Some of the methods used in the modern day restoration programs were inspired by Native American, Native Canadian, European, and Asian communities (Siegel, Welsh, 195). These methods include: negotiation, mediation, consensus building, sentencing circles, sentencing panels, and elder panels (Siegel, Welsh, 195). Within the sentencing circle the offender has an opportunity to express regret concerning actions committed and those attending the sentencing circles can propose way to repair the damage done (Siegel, Welsh, 196). Such a meeting includes a facilitator to keep the meeting going and is, of course, a natural party (Hines, Restoring Juvenile Justice).

In all of this, due process is respected on a volunteer basis and there must be a parent or guardian involved (Hines, Restoring Juvenile Justice). The suggestions of treatment can include Alcohol Anonymous and other substance abuse treatment programs (Siegel, Welsh, 196). There are a number of institutions that support restorative justice programs which include: schools, communities, and even the law enforcement system (Siegel, Welsh, 196). A view does exist that there is a need of balance in providing restoration. The principles according to Balance and Restorative Justice focus on holding offenders accountable to victims, providing competency development for offenders in the system so that they can pursue legitimate endeavors after release, and ensuring community safety (Siegel, Welsh, 196-197). These are essential to ensure offenders aren’t just getting off easy and that there is some progress to be made with the offender.

Though the criticism exists regards restorative justice as a weak approach to justice, success rate are rather high. Even though these programs have only been active for three decades there has been reduced violence, incarceration, recidivism, school suspensions and school expulsions (Eastern Mennonite University, How Effective is Juvenile Justice).  Other documentation show restorative justice lowered “violent re-offending, victim’s desire for revenge, and costs” (Eastern Mennonite University, How Effective is Juvenile Justice).  Concerning monetary payment for damages, Hines reports that restorative justice systems have restitution payments in percentages as high as 90% (Hines, Restoring Juvenile Justice).

With the information provided, restorative justice program has provided an essential service to the justice system. Rather than just punish the offender and be done with the case, this system puts much more work to better support the victim and offender. By restoring a relationship between an offender and a community, there are more opportunities for progress for both parties. They hear each others’ perspectives and learn what damages have occurred and the cost of repairing them. This system has impressive statistics that show it’s improvement in the lives of both individuals and communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Seigal, Larry J. and Welsh, Brandon G. Juvenile Delinquency: Theory, Practice and Law. Cengage Learning. 2015. Print

Hines, David J.  Restoring Juvenile Justice. American Bar. Web. 2008

Eastern Mennonite University. How Effective Is Restorative Justice. PeaceMakers. Web. 2009

 

 

 

 

All Fletched Up- Film Analysis

Damian Anderson

Professor Barry R. Langford, J.D.

CJAD 301

7 October 2009

All Fletched Up

Through the use of film, artists are able to either entertain or educate. It is a fact that films are considered more of entertainment value than educational; however both can consist.. This doesn’t have to be intentional. For example, taking a look at the film Fetch starring comedy legend Chevy Chase, criminal justice majors are able to identify with where law violations occur whereas casual viewer student may or may not notice.

Hailed as a comedy classic by fans and critics alike, Fletch follows Chevy Chase’s character by the same name as he unravels though a plot of deception and corruption. As a journalist Fletch, goes to many extremes and multiple hilarious scenarios to uncover the truth. Through all the hi-jinks, law students are able to find several law violations within the film. There are six main events to be discussed.

The first event occurs very early in the film as Fletch, while working undercover for a journalism article, is approached by Allen Stanwyck with a proposition. Allen offers 50 thousand dollars to be murdered due his supposed bone cancer. The scenario is completely laid out: where to find the gun, where Allen will be present, the location of the open safe, the getaway card and plan tickets to Rio del Janiero.  Fletch initially agree, but investigates the circumstances as the film goes on.

In agreeing to commit the act several issues arise. Since the plan is planned out and premeditated and completely thought out, if the act is committed then Fletch would be charged with first degree murder. But since this is only agreeing to do so, it would be conspiracy to commit murder because there is a contractual agreement to commit the murder.  Stanwyck could also be charged with solicitation according to the Model Penal Code 5.02 where it defines that a suspect guilty of criminal solicitation “request or commands another person to engage in conduct that would constitute as a crime.”

Not long after following that scene, Fletch plans a doctor visit with Stanwyck’s doctor to get further information concerning Stanwyck’s supposed cancer. After receiving no answer from the doctor, he goes undercover as a doctor to reach the records room. In doing so, along with setting up a hilarious scenario where Fletch assisted with autopsy, impersonates a doctor and reads confidential patient files.

This is considered a violation of privacy, since there files were only for the patient and the doctor(s) to see. Model penal code defines that a violation of privacy can occur through a breach of privates message, and though medical files are typical “messages” it is a way for doctors to communicate to each other as well as revealing result to a patient; thus, becoming a form of communication between people.

One of the more notable scenes in the film involves the police. Actually, there are several scenes worth mentioning. The first takes part on the beach where Fletch is working undercover for a drug trafficking case, when police arrive chasing down a specific young man. When arriving to the scene Fletch witnesses the police violently attacking the young man, whom is unarmed and never posed a threat of any sort. When Fletch approaches the scene, he too is attack by the police before the leave with the young man in custody.

There is a times where police officers need the use of force to prevent a suspect from harming themselves or other. The Model Penal Code section 3.07 sites that the use of force can be used in the following situations: to prevent escape from custody, prevent suicide of commission of a crime, and by a private person assisting an unlawful arrest.

In the second scene, Fletch arrives home and is surprised by two detectives waiting for him. After a quick pat down they plant heroin on Fletch and take him into the station. Once again the police are being rough where there is no need. At the station Fletch is brought in to see Chief Karlin whom is corrupt as well. He threatens to shoot Fletch in the face and claim self defense or Fletch can cancel his story involving the police brutality at the beach earlier. Fletch under duress and fear of his life agrees to do so.  This case also follows the violation of the use of force continuum.

When returning home, again, Fletch discovers police officers waiting on him. In response, he begins a car chase where he eventually “borrows” another car that provides better speed. A young boy is in the vehicle prior and during the chase reveals that the car had already been stolen. As he drives he intentionally runs police cars off the road in an attempt to get way but endangering lives in the process.

Section 242.2 of the Model Penal Code covers the issue of resisting arrest. It defines that resisting arrest as a misdemeanor if the suspect creates a serious risk of bodily injury to the public official or others. That is exactly what occurred in this scene, Fletch risk the safety of the officers, the kid in the vehicle with him and other drivers in order to effectively escape arrest. Fletch, however, could argue that the police had been harassing him unjustly and feared for his own safety.

When checking the flights prepared by Stanwyck, Fletch discovers a lady named Sally sitting next to him and her ticket was purchased by Stanwyck as well. With interests sparked, Fletch travels to Utah to find Sally’s home unlock and enters the home to look around for any evidence of who she is. This is interrupted by a friend of the landlord.

Fletch could be charged with Trespassing and burglary in this scenario. Burglary could be charged, because he did enter the premises unlawfully regardless of the door being unlocked or not however it would be difficult to prove if he indeed planned to commit a crime once inside.  Regarding trespassing, Fletch could agree that the premises appeared to have been abandoned according to Model Penal Code 221.2.

As the film begins to close it is revealed that Stanwyck travels to Utah once a month to visit his parents and Sally, who is revealed to be his wife. The issue here is that Stanwyck is married to a lady named Gail in Los Angeles.  Thus, Stanyck is guilty of bigamy.  Schmalleger and Hall, defines that bigamy is a person being married to one person “while legally married to another person.”  It is considered a misdemeanor under the Model Penal Code and several states (Schmalleger, and Hall, 2014).

In conclusion, Fletch provides a series of law applications that could go unnoticed by viewers. Because of an understanding of how law works and the Model Penal Code, students are able to identify the cause and effects of law violation depicted in film. Fletch still contains its laughs and suspense but now, for some, it will be a mean educational application of law.

Works Cited

Hall, Daniel E., and Schmalleger, Franks. Criminal Law Today.  Boston, Ma. Pearson Education, 2014.  Print

Fletch. Dir. Michael Ritchie. Perf. Chevy Chase, Joe Don Baker, Dana Wheeler-Nicolson, and Geena Davis. Universal Pictures. 1985. Film.

 

Change in Departments

Change in Departments

Damian Anderson

Columbia College

           Ironically, change is a constant in our lives, and it is no different in police agencies. Changes occur for a number of reasons, 8 of which are discussed in Police Administration. The first reason is an event in which leads to a change in chief of police due to civil litigation. For example, if a chief of police displays poor judgment when having deceives handle a rape victim’s case causing further emotional distress and a lack of safety may result in civil litigation against the department. This would all be based on the chief’s decision making.  A second reason would be a newly elected mayor replacing an existing mayor. This can occur if the mayor carries a new vision for the community that the current chief of police doesn’t uphold to.  Another reasons would be if a major political figure suffers a sever embarrassment and argues that “the law enforcement agency is to blame” (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).  A fourth reason would be that a chief of police has either retired, fired, or accepts another position. When a “new sheriff is elected and implements the changes that were part of the platform on which he or she ran,” change is bound to occur (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). For example, the new sheriff may find there is a need to review policy and request changes.  A sixth reason for change is when high expectations are not respected and honored such as a sheriff’s relationship with a newspaper printing company and the sheriff’s decision to move to another paper for advertisement (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

Another reason of change is if the chief of police attitude and conduct become a serious issue and eventually needs to his/her dismissal of officer (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012). The eighth and final reason for change is when moral of the department is considered law and the current administration is responding to issues without preparation and thought. These situations are identified by the following: high volume of complaints against officers, excessive use of sick leave by officers, high rates of turnover, and low levels of experience in the department (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

There are 5 reasons in which why change should not be made, and they are as followed: 1) when the knowledge, skill, or other resources needed to carry out effectively do not exist inside the department, 2) when an appropriately experienced external change agent is not presently available, 3) when the effort of making the change is greater than any of the benefits to be derived from change, 4) when collateral damage may lead to chief to use their limited stack of “political chips” on another issue of greater concern to them and the community, and 5) when too much damage is already underway in the department and that change is not sufficiently important at the current time (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

The Traditional Action Research Model is comprised of 5 steps. These steps include: 1) recognizing the need for change, where awareness for changes arises from Supreme Court rulings to findings from civil litigation, 2) Assessing/diagnosing the situation, this is where a) the opportunity or problem is determined and b) the gap and difference between what is happening and what the department would like to have happen is determined,  3)action planning, the chief determined who is in charge of the change process based on internal candidates skills and capabilities, 4) change intervention/implementation, this is when plans are completed and implemented accordingly, and 5) evaluation, where  a series of report and periodic observation and conversation with personnel involved in various level of the department are conducted, from which a decision is made whether a change is needed or not (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 2012).

Works Cited:

Swanson, Charles, R., Territo, Leonard, Taylor, Robert W. (2012) Police Administration: Structures, Processes, and Behaviors. (8th) Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Print.