OP-ED: Automatic Transfer Negates Justice for All Our Children by Elizabeth Clarke
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In a sobering decision, the Illinois Supreme Court recently upheld the automatic adult prosecution of a 15-year-old who was living in a state residential home due to long-standing neglect by his family.
Unlike its earlier decisions upholding transfer to adult court, the court this time unanimously expressed its concern with the lack of individual review in automatic transfer. The court strongly urged the Illinois General Assembly to review the statute “based on current scientific and sociological evidence indicating a need for the exercise of judicial discretion in determining the appropriate setting for the proceedings in these juvenile cases.”