8 When Should Juvenile Offenders Be Tried in Adult Court 145 6 In re Jorge G

8 when should juvenile offenders be tried in adult

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8 When Should Juvenile Offenders Be Tried in Adult Court? 145 6. In re Jorge G. (2004) 117 C.A.4th 931, 954, 12 C.R.3d 193 7. Cal. Penal Code 186.31. 8. See In re Eduardo C. (2001) 90 C.A.4th 937, 940, 108 C.R.2d 924
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Chapter 12 GANG-RELATED SENTENCING OPTIONS J AMES T. O’R EILLY 12.1 INTRODUCTION T his book is intended to offer the law enforcement community a series of options for dealing with the problem of violent gangs. Other chapters have dealt with the operational aspects of corrections institutions, schools, juvenile courts, police agencies, etc. This chapter deals with a different topic: how the prosecution of a crime committed by one or more gang members should be presented to the sentencing judge for imposition of a more stringent sentence, enhanced by months or years when compared to the sentence for a more typical assault or robbery conviction. Laws enhancing such sentences exist in many states 1 ; in those states that do not expressly include such enhancement, the trial judge is likely to consider the factor of gang participation dur- ing the review of the results of the pre-sentence investigation. 12.2 PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS This chapter briefly covers practical considerations and is not intend- ed to be an elaborate legal treatise on the constitutional issues. Other legal reference sources have written in detail about the civil liberties issues of the rights of gang members, the due process issues of selective- ly adding to the sentences of gang members, and other ideological or political conflicts that call into question the merit of enhanced sentenc- 147
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ing. This book accepts that there will be a divergent opinion among judges, scholars, professors and non-governmental organizations about the best means to deal with civil liberties issues. While all these views deserve respect, this chapter will proceed to specific issues and the read- er may find elsewhere the more elaborate analyses that conventional legal scholarship would present. This chapter focuses on the practical issues of facilitating use of the law as it exists in a particular sentencing court. 12.3 BASICS YOU NEED TO KNOW A conviction of a criminal defendant, by judge alone, by jury, or by plea bargain, is followed by the imposition of a sentence of months or years in confinement and/or community control, such as electronic monitoring or probation. Each state legislature adopts the defined set of crimes and prescribes the defined range of months or years to which the judge can sentence a person who is convicted of one of the crimes. The prosecutor is well aware of the range of sentences, and most com- petent defense attorneys can bargain for a sentence that minimizes incarceration time for the accused. If you are involved in law enforce- ment, you probably have personal views about the wisdom of some plea bargains, but they are a necessary part of the processing of crimi- nal cases in a busy court system.
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