Constitution Rights and Collateral Consequences

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Constitution rights and collateral consequences are the civil state penalties that are mandated by statute to attach criminal convictions. They are not included in the direct consequences of conviction such as probation, incarceration, and fines. This paper aims to discuss the constitutional rights of juveniles and give an insight of a few judicial hearings ever decided by the Supreme Court in juvenile law.

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The issues arising from juvenile delinquency proceedings rarely come before the U.S Supreme Court. In the late 1960s, the court ruled over a series of landmark cases that dramatically changed characters of the juvenile justice system. In the year 1961; Morris Kent, a sixteen-year-old who was on probation from another case was accused of engaging in a robbery with violence and sexual assault. This was the most important and challenging case as it involved a minor who had proven to be a threat to the society. The accused confessed to committing the offenses hoping that the juvenile court would waive jurisdiction to the adult court. The juvenile court judge did not rule on this motion filed by Kent's advocate. After the investigations had been completed, Kent was proven guilty of three counts of housebreaking, robbery with violence, and committing sexual assault and was jailed 30 to 90 years in prison. A second case involved Gregory Martin, who was fourteen-years-old at the time of his trial. Gregory was arrested and charged with three counts of assault, robbery with violence, and illegal possession of armor. The minor remained in police custody pending adjudication as the court saw him as a serious threat if released and was likely to commit other crimes. The court justified these detentions as a way to protect the juveniles and the society from pretrial crimes. The detentions were handed to the minors after a series of attempts by their attorneys to seek legally reversed orders to release the suspects pending trial by filing a habeas corpus.


A third case involved Jarell Milton, a twelve-year-old boy who was involved in fatal shootings in Omaha that saw Jamymell Ray, a 31-year-old man killed and a few other people seriously injured in the incidence. The fourth and the last case involving a minor is the detention of Jordan Brown. He was eleven-years-old when he was suspected of committing homicide by killing eight months expectant woman, Kenzie Houk. She was a 26 and a fiance to the suspect's father. After pleading innocent in May 2010, he was detained pending trials on two accounts of murder, that of the mother and the eight-moths-old fetus. Our first step is to push for decertification because we feel that Jordan is amenable to juvenile rehabilitation, (Dennis Elisco, 2010). His attorney and family brought the attention of juveniles constitutional rights to the court requesting the transfer of the case from Supreme Court to a juvenile court. His case is still ongoing after his transfer from Lawrence Country Jail to a minor center.

The first difference between direct and collateral consequences is that a consequence is direct if the sentencing court imposes it as part of the authorized punishment. However, it is termed as a guarantee if it is automatically imposed upon conviction despite that it might not be included in the court's judgment. Direct consequences are the effects of a given action based on the governing law that determines the punishment for a given crime. Collateral consequences are related to the economic concepts of externalities. The main challenge between direct and collateral consequences is whether to prosecute minors in the adults court or arraign them in juvenile courts where consequences are lesser as compared to adult courts. For instance, in an adult court, the impact of murder is facing a life incarceration. However, in the juvenile courts, the minors that have committed this crime may be given lesser punishment such as short sentences or even spared regardless of their crimes magnitude.




U.S. Supreme Court have had an impact on the character and procedures of the juvenile justice system. (1999). Retrieved from C. (n.d.). Boy, 12, faces grown up murder charges. Retrieved March 15, 2010, from

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