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|McKeiver v. Pennsylvania|
|Argued December 10, 1970|
Decided June 21, 1971
|Full case name||McKeiver v. Pennsylvania|
|Citations||403 U.S. 528 (more)|
|A trial by jury is not constitutionally required in the adjudicative phase of a state juvenile court delinquency proceeding.|
|Plurality||Blackmun, joined by Burger, Stewart, White|
|Dissent||Douglas, joined by Black, Marshall|
McKeiver v. Pennsylvania, 403 U.S. 528 (1971), was a decision of the United States Supreme Court. The Court held that juveniles in juvenile criminal proceedings were not entitled to a jury trial by the Sixth or Fourteenth Amendments. The Court's plurality opinion left the precise reasoning for the decision unclear.
Joseph McKeiver and Edward Terry were teenagers charged with acts of robbery, theft, assault, and escape. Both were denied a request for a jury trial at the Juvenile Court of Philadelphia. A state Superior Court affirmed the order, and, after combining their separate cases in to one case, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the decision stating that there is no constitutional right to a jury trial for juveniles. In similar cases, the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of North Carolina both affirmed the lower court's decision, finding no constitutional requirement for a jury trial for juvenile defendants.
Although the right to a jury trial is not guaranteed by the U.S Constitution in these cases, states may, and some do, employ jury trials in juvenile proceedings if they wish to do so. Kansas is the first state in the U.S. to articulate that the right should be extended to juveniles as a matter of right under its State Constitution.
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