Want to read more? Subscribe Now or Sign In
Hide ( X )
  • THE CRIME REPORT - Your Complete Criminal Justice Resource

  • Investigative News Network
  • Welcome to the Crime Report. Today is

Inside Criminal Justice

Should Juvenile Criminals Get Adult Sentences?

November 28, 2012 06:28:45 am

Photo by derekskey, via Flickr

Sean Shevlino grew up a typical kid from a conservative, affluent Charleston, SC suburb. But when he was a teenager, things started to go downhill. Arrested in 2006 for his part in a supermarket robbery, Shevlino was sent to prison for 10 years. Since he was 16 at the time of his crime, under South Carolina law he was charged as an adult.

Increasingly, however, social scientists, law enforcement authorities, lawyers and judges are questioning the wisdom of charging juveniles like Shevlino as adults. They point to psychologists’ research suggesting that while some teenagers can be astonishingly mature, the adolescent brain develops at different rates.  Middle adolescence—ages 14-18—might be the worst time for rational decision making. 

In a special report for The Daily Beast, reporter Clark Merrefield examines the dysjunction between the law and what science tells us about juvenile development. Merrefield, a 2012 John Jay/Tow Juvenile Justice Reporting Fellow, explored the Shevlino case and others as part of his special project.

Read his story HERE.

« Article List
No Comments yet

TCR at a Glance

Crime and Prison Population Fall in N.C.

new & notable November 21, 2014

A series of justice reinvestment reforms in North Carolina have created a more efficient system, according to a report by the non-profit ...

Does 'Right-to-Carry' Lead to More Crime?

new & notable November 20, 2014

Laws that allow concealed weapons in public are associated with higher rates of aggravated assault, rape, robbery and murder, according t...

BJS: Crimes Against the Elderly on the Rise

new & notable November 14, 2014

Violent victimizations of Americans 65 or older increased 27 percent from 2003 to 2013, according to a new study by the federal Bureau of...