Minnesota Law Review

Note, Juveniles Locked in Limbo: Why Pretrial Detention Implicates a Fundamental Right

At the birth of the juvenile court, reformers attempted to develop a system that melded child welfare concerns with crime control. Despite the founders’ original intentions, however, the juvenile court system has moved away from the therapeutic model to a punitive model.  The increasingly punitive nature of the system warrants a second look at the due process safeguards courts afford—or do not afford—juveniles.  The Kansas Supreme Court recently held, based on the increasingly punitive nature of the juvenile justice system, that juveniles should have a constitutional right to a jury trial. This decision analogously provides support for the argument that juveniles deserve more due process safeguards at the point of pretrial detention.

The Note argues that courts should recognize that the ability to contest pretrial detention is a fundamental right, protected by the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. The Note critiques the reasoning behind Schall v. Martin, the decision that failed to recognize that the pretrial detention of juveniles implicates a fundamental right. It examines the language of current state statutes permitting the pretrial detention of juveniles. The author advocates that in light of the increasingly punitive nature of the system, all juveniles should be afforded greater procedural safeguards including the right to contest pretrial detention. The Supreme Court should grant the same procedural safeguards that adults enjoy to juvenile offenders.  The recognition that physically detaining juveniles implicates a fundamental right will lead to the creation of national guidelines and criteria for detainment.  Stricter guidelines will reduce the number of juveniles in pretrial detention.  This will alleviate the burden on state resources and foster the development of diversionary programs. These measures will help the juvenile justice system return to its rehabilitative underpinnings.


:: View PDF

De Novo

  • Case Comment: Bhogaita v. Altamonte

    EVERY DOG CAN HAVE HIS DAY IN COURT: THE USE OF ANIMALS AS DEMONSTRATIVE EXHIBITS Kyle R. Kroll, Volume 100, Online Managing Editor In Bhogaita v. Altamonte, the Eleventh Circuit recently decided whether to allow a dog in the courtroom as a demonstrative exhibit.[1] Although the case presented many serious [...]

  • Revisiting Water Bankruptcy

    REVISITING WATER BANKRUPTCY IN CALIFORNIA’S FOURTH YEAR OF DROUGHT Olivia Moe, Volume 100, Managing Editor This spring, as “extreme” to “exceptional” drought stretched across most of California—indicating that a four-year streak of drought was not about to resolve itself[1]—Governor Jerry Brown issued an unprecedented order to reduce potable urban water [...]

  • Defying Auer Deference

    DEFYING AUER DEFERENCE: SKIDMORE AS A SOLUTION TO CONSERVATIVE CONCERNS IN PEREZ v. MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION Nicholas R. Bednar, Volume 100, Lead Articles Editor* On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association.[1] The Court overturned the D.C. [...]