Email At the age of 16, Cameron Williams lives a life far removed from the world of other teenagers. Williams, who celebrated his sixteenth birthday in jail, faces up to years behind bars for second-degree attempted murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony.
Email At the age of 16, Cameron Williams lives a life far removed from Juvenile criminals world of other teenagers. Williams, who celebrated his sixteenth birthday in jail, faces up to years behind bars for second-degree attempted murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony.
In November, Williams shot at a police officer in Omaha, Nebraska as he was being chased after being pulled over in a car with two other men. Play null He's also charged with robbery and assault in another county. Even though he is a minor, Williams was charged in an adult court because of his troublesome history and the "serious nature of the crime," the county attorney's office said.
Williams is one of many young adults facing the prospect of life in prison as the debate over whether juveniles should be tried as adults rages on.
Play null The Justice Department estimates that about 10 percent of all homicides are committed by juveniles under the age of Nearly every year, the FBI arrests more than 33, young adults under the age of 18 for offenses.
The number of violent crimes committed by young people declined substantially from the s tobut then surged again that year, with the estimated number of juvenile murder offenders increasing 30 percent, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Juvenile Judge Elizabeth Crnkovich, one of five judges in Douglas County's juvenile courts -- a system Williams has been through in the past -- says there is a disturbing trend of increasing violence among young people.
And I see as a result of that, more prosecutors and the citizens generally seem to be exerting more pressure to charge these youths as adults, as opposed to having them processed through the juvenile justice system," she said. Juvenile courts focus on rehabilitation, unlike adult jails and prisons, where criminals are subject to incarceration and much harsher sentences.
Today, virtually every juvenile offender who has a past criminal history, or is arrested for a violent crime like rape or murder, is tried in an adult court.
The trend began in the s, when virtually every state expanded the rules under which juvenile offenders could be charged as adults. The nation's highest court ruled that juvenile offenders who haven't been convicted of murder cannot be sentenced to life in prison without any chance of parole.
The United States was the only country, prior to the ruling, that did not have a such a law. Opponents of trying juveniles in adult courts say more needs to be done for the nation's young criminals, and that the law needs to take into account their psychological development and maturity.
The current system is "so at odds with what the research tells us about the kids," said Marsha Levick, deputy director and co-founder of the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center. Based on the nature of the offence, we automatically send them to juvenile," Beadle said.
In the same county as Williams, two other teens, Juan Castaneda and Eric Ramirez, are charged for first-degree murder in a crime spree that killed multiple people. There are similar cases around the country of juvenile offenders that have committed violent crime.
Just last week, a year-old boy in Missouri was charged with two counts of first-degree murder for killing his mother and stepfather.
In Pennsylvaniaanother year-old boy is charged with murdering his father's pregnant fiance. Meanwhile, juvenile courts are also seeing more cases of non-violent crime. Incourts with juvenile jurisdiction handled an estimated 1.
Williams' attorney says it is difficult to predict whether the young offender would commit another violent crime in the future, but that he should have gone through all other court-ordered programs available to teenagers before being charged as an adult.
I'm guessing this is a tough lesson he's learned in life and it will hopefully keep him from the streets and gangs," said Williams' attorney, Glenn Shapiro.Juvenile courts focus on rehabilitation, unlike adult jails and prisons, where criminals are subject to incarceration and much harsher sentences.
Today, virtually every juvenile offender who has a. Nationwide, at least 1, people serve life without parole for crimes they committed as children. Beth Schwartzapfel on America's juvenile lifers.
Juvenile delinquents are minors, usually defined as being between the ages of 10 and 18, who have committed some act that violates the law.
These acts aren’t called “crimes” as they would be for adults. Rather, crimes committed by minors are called “delinquent acts.” Instead of a trial, the juvenile has an “adjudication,” after. Justice for Juvenile Criminals A 16 year-old boy Shawn was sent to California Youth Authority, the state’s most restrictive juvenile detention facility, for a day evaluation, after killing his father.
A separate juvenile justice system was established in the United States about years ago with the goal of diverting youthful offenders from the destructive punishments of criminal courts and encouraging rehabilitation based on the individual juvenile's needs.
Constitutional Protections Afforded Juveniles The United States Supreme Court has held that in juvenile commitment proceedings, juvenile courts must afford to juveniles basic constitutional protections, such as advance notice of the charges, the right to counsel, the right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses, and the right to.