The case involved Joseph McKeiver, and Edward Terry, from two different charges. McKeiver was charged with robbery, larceny, and receiving stolen goods as acts of juvenile delinquency. Terry was charged with assault and battery on a police officer. The officer was breaking up a fight when Terry began hitting him with his fists and a stick. The next week, he was then charged and committed with assault on a teacher. Both juveniles were denied a jury trial, which they thought should be entitled by the U. S Constitution.
Issues. The juveniles developed their case because the Sixth Amendment states that people have the right to a jury trial in all criminal prosecutions. The boys believed that juveniles should have this right also, considering that were in criminal court. Decisions & Reasoning The decision made by the Supreme Court was that juveniles are not entitled to a jury trial by the Sixth or Fourteenth Amendments.
“The State Supreme Court, while recognizing the applicability to juveniles of certain due process procedural safeguards, held that there is no constitutional right to a jury trial in juvenile court (US Supreme Court Center). Some states may decide to give juveniles the right to a jury trial, but it is not required by the U. S Constitution. The courts considered many things, one being that all rights that are constitutionally assured to an adult are not assured to a juvenile. Also, the constitution does not state that the Fourteenth Amendment or the Bill of rights is intended for adults alone. The courts finally concluded that Juveniles, especially those being tried as an adult for a felony, should be entitled to a jury trial.
The courts decided that the child’s fate should not be considered just by one person, the judge. Juveniles are now entitled to a trial by jury, but the jury is only able to establish whether they believe the crime was committed, the facts being true, beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury cannot take the child’s sociological and psychological features of the child. The punishment is left up to the judge after considering these factors.
Analysis. This case had a great effect on history, because without it juveniles still wouldn’t be entitled to a trial by jury. This case caused The Court to edit some parts of the Constitution. Because of this case, juveniles now will have a fair trial by jury in criminal cases just like adults. I think it is right that juveniles should have the right to a jury trial also. Just like discussed between the judges, the 6th or 14th Amendments do not state that the right to a jury trial is only for adults.