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Law Hum Behav ; 46(5): 337-352, 2022 10.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36227319


OBJECTIVE: In guilty plea hearings, judges must determine whether defendants' plea decisions were made knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily. Little is known, however, about how plea hearings unfold, especially in juvenile court, where hearings are generally closed to the public. In this study, we had the unique opportunity to systematically observe plea hearings in juvenile and criminal court. HYPOTHESES: We predicted that plea hearings would be brief and that defendant participation, especially among juveniles, would be minimal. We also explored how often judges addressed the plea validity components of knowingness, intelligence, and voluntariness and whether addressing these components differed by the type of court (juvenile, criminal), pretrial custody status, and pled-to charge severity. METHOD: Trained coders in California (n = 104, juvenile court) and Virginia (n = 140, juvenile court; n = 593, criminal court) systematically observed more than 800 guilty plea hearings. Coders reliably documented hearing length, whether the defendant was in pretrial custody, whether the evidence was reviewed, details on defendant participation, and judicial attention to plea validity. RESULTS: On average, juvenile plea hearings lasted about 7 min and criminal plea hearings lasted 13 min. Prosecutors rarely reviewed evidence against the defendants in the juvenile courts, and in one juvenile court, judges paid virtually no attention to plea validity. In the other two courts, certain waived rights (e.g., to trial, to silence) were reviewed consistently. Depending on the court, hearing length and plea validity elements addressed varied by defendants' prehearing custody status and the pled-to charge severity. CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide novel insight into how components necessary for plea admissibility-knowingness, voluntariness, and intelligence-are discussed with defendants and, in doing so, raise concerns about the degree to which plea validity is actively assessed in plea hearings. Plea hearings are formal, minutes-long events in which defendant engagement is low. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Criminales , Derecho Penal , Etilenodiaminas , Culpa , Audición , Humanos , Abogados
Psychol Public Policy Law ; 24(4): 418-429, 2018 Nov.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30906181


The current study examined perceptions of fair treatment in a past court experience among a sample of incarcerated youth (n = 364). Perceptions were compared for youth whose cases were processed through the juvenile (n = 261) versus adult court (n = 103) systems. In general, youth who were adjudicated in adult court felt more justly treated by legal authorities than youth adjudicated in juvenile court. Specifically, youth in adult court rated judges as only marginally more just than youth in juvenile court, but rated their defense attorney's treatment as significantly more just. Youth rated the prosecutor's treatment as relatively unjust regardless of where their case was handled. Differences in perceptions of procedural justice were also observed based on prior arrest history and race, with minority youth and repeat offenders perceiving the process to be less procedurally just. Our findings should not be used as support for the increased transfer of youth into adult court, as other studies have demonstrated these youth tend to have worse outcomes. However, our findings do suggest that improvements should be made to increase elements of procedural justice in juvenile court settings.