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generic neg cards 4 - completed - Copyright(c) May,2005...

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Copyright (c) 2005 North Carolina Law Review North Carolina Law Review May, 2005 ARTICLE:  DEVELOPMENTAL INCOMPETENCE, DUE PROCESS, AND JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY NAME:  Elizabeth S. Scott* & Thomas Grisso** BIO:  * University Professor and Class of 1962 Professor of Law, University of Virginia. For helpful comments on  this Article, we thank Richard Bonnie and Larry Steinberg. We also thank members of the Competence Working  Group of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development  and Juvenile Justice. Michael Loatman provided excellent research assistance.   Juveniles lack unique capacities that prevent them from being able to even be evaluate under normal means. Scott and Grisso: The issue is more complex, however. Although immaturity and mental illness or disability may all produce cognitive and behavioral deficits that impede trial competence, several distinctive features of developmental incompetence create major challenges for policymakers devising juvenile crime policy. Relatively few adult defendants are found to be incompetent to stand trial, and procedures for restoration to competence are straightforward and usually effective. In contrast, powerful research evidence indicates that many younger adolescents may lack the capacities needed to participate as defendants in a criminal proceeding. An important [A] study sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation recently found a high risk of trial incompetence among younger teens and even mid- adolescents using the measures applied to adults . n11 This research confirms earlier studies of youths' capacities in legal settings as well as general developmental psychology evidence about maturation. n12 It shows that the risk of developmental incompetence is correlated predictably with age and concentrated in a readily identified group - younger teens. In that group, the incidence of developmental incompetence is likely to be high. Moreover, t he conventional remedy for incompetent defendants, the restoration of competence, may often have little meaning as applied to youths who have never been competent, and for whom maturation is the only effective remedy. Because of these distinctive features, developmental incompetence poses institutional challenges beyond those raised by the conventional forms. Even under the most parsimonious account of the impact of recognizing this construct, the evaluation and determination of trial competence will play a prominent role in most criminal prosecutions of younger and mid-adolescents. Beyond this, lawmakers must also confront the challenge of creating dispositional remedies that respond to this unique form of incompetence.
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