Devices To Limit Prosecutorial Discretion

Six States grant prosecutors discretion to decide when to try juveniles as adults in court proceedings but attempt to limit that discretion in some way. In Florida, for example, in cases involving specified age/offense categories, a State’s Attorney must either attempt an adult prosecution or provide the juvenile court with written reasons for failing to do so. Before exercising direct file authority to prosecute juveniles as adults in Nebraska and Wyoming, prosecutors are required to give consideration to the same kinds of enumerated "factors" that are ordinarily weighed by courts making waiver determinations.

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Trying Juveniles as Adults in Criminal Court: An Analysis of State Transfer Provisions December 1998