Palo Alto Weekly: When Sentencing Young Lawbreakers, Race Matters, Study Funds

Thought provoking study by Stanford University’s Department of Psychology that found that when people were told that a juvenile defendant was Black, the consequences for the crime were harsher than if the juvenile defendant was White.  More than just proving that racial prejudice exists, the authors of the study worry about the implications of these results on the actual protections for juveniles under a system that is supposed to be considered rehabilitative.  At ACJP, we’ve seen this not just in the sentencing phase of a case but even at the charging stage.  We hope that this leads to a broader discussion of racism and the juvenile justice system. To read the full report, click here.  — Submission Post by Charisse Domingo

When sentencing young lawbreakers, race matters, study finds

Public favors harsher punishments when criminals are black, researchers say
by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly, 6/2/2012

People’s opinions on whether youth who break the law should be sentenced as adults vary significantly when a single word — black or white — is used to describe the defendant, a new study by Stanford University’s Department of Psychology has found.
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San Jose Mercury News: Convicted teens appear before peers for sentencing

Is giving teens the power to convict their peers for the prevention of juvenile recitivism a good idea? You be the judge. -Submission by Cesar Flores

In the painful world of adolescence, often nothing looms larger than what other teens think of you.

Santa Clara County’s fledgling Peer Court hopes to take advantage of that mindset, by placing low-level criminal offenders in front of a jury of their peers.

In the fourth session since its start last month, on Tuesday 12 teen jurors will decide the punishment for a student defendant represented by two teen defenders, facing off against two teen prosecutors. Continue reading