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8When Should Juvenile Offenders Be Tried in Adult Court?1456.In re Jorge G. (2004) 117 C.A.4th 931, 954, 12 C.R.3d 1937.Cal. Penal Code 186.31.8.See In re Eduardo C. (2001) 90 C.A.4th 937, 940, 108 C.R.2d 924
Chapter 12GANG-RELATED SENTENCING OPTIONSJAMEST. O’REILLY12.1 INTRODUCTIONThis book is intended to offer the law enforcement community aseries of options for dealing with the problem of violent gangs.Other chapters have dealt with the operational aspects of correctionsinstitutions, schools, juvenile courts, police agencies, etc. This chapterdeals with a different topic: how the prosecution of a crime committedby one or more gang members should be presented to the sentencingjudge for imposition of a more stringent sentence, enhanced by monthsor years when compared to the sentence for a more typical assault orrobbery conviction. Laws enhancing such sentences exist in manystates1; 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 CONSIDERATIONSThis chapter briefly covers practical considerations and is not intend-ed to be an elaborate legal treatise on the constitutional issues. Otherlegal reference sources have written in detail about the civil libertiesissues of the rights of gang members, the due process issues of selective-ly adding to the sentences of gang members, and other ideological orpolitical conflicts that call into question the merit of enhanced sentenc-147
ing. This book accepts that there will be a divergent opinion amongjudges, scholars, professors and non-governmental organizations aboutthe best means to deal with civil liberties issues. While all these viewsdeserve respect, this chapter will proceed to specific issues and the read-er may find elsewhere the more elaborate analyses that conventionallegal scholarship would present. This chapter focuses on the practicalissues of facilitating use of the law as it exists in a particular sentencingcourt.12.3 BASICS YOU NEED TO KNOWA conviction of a criminal defendant, by judge alone, by jury, or byplea bargain, is followed by the imposition of a sentence of months oryears in confinement and/or community control, such as electronicmonitoring or probation. Each state legislature adopts the defined set ofcrimes and prescribes the defined range of months or years to whichthe 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 minimizesincarceration time for the accused. If you are involved in law enforce-ment, you probably have personal views about the wisdom of someplea bargains, but they are a necessary part of the processing of crimi-nal cases in a busy court system.