In our previous post, we mentioned recent indictments against two Baton Rouge teens on charges of second degree murder. One of them is 18 years old, the other 16. The charges are related to two separate cases, though both of them involved firearms.
As we noted last time, conviction of second-degree murder in Louisiana carries an automatic life sentence. While this would obviously be a serious consequence in both cases, it would especially be so in the case involving the juvenile. As we noted last time, though, the judge in charge of the juvenile’s case will have to consider the defendant’s youth as well as the nature of his crime-should he be convicted-before putting him in prison for life without hope of parole.
Juvenile defense is critical for young people that find themselves at odds with authorities, especially in cases where the consequences of their actions could alter the course of their entire adult life.
One of the things to realize about juvenile defense is that children have different needs and a different psychological makeup than adults. Attorneys engaged in juvenile defense need to have knowledge of child development, effective interaction with parents, teachers and other adults in the child’s life, as well as the ability to work closely with those offering support services and alternatives to juvenile detention.
When young people become legal adults, the criminal justice system uses a whole different approach with them. It is imperative to do everything possible for a troubled young person to help them get back on track while there is still time.
Source: The Advocate, “BR man indicted in Oriole Street slaying,” September 20, 2012