1. In re Gault 
In re Gault arose when fifteen-year-old Gerald Gault was arrested
for making an obscene phone call. After a series of summary proceedings, the
Juvenile Court judge committed Gerald to the State Industrial School until he
was 21 or otherwise discharged by process of law.
The Arizona Supreme Court rejected Gerald's writ of review, upholding the juvenile
The United States Supreme
Court accepted the case for the purpose of reviewing the adequacy of the due
process afforded by the Arizona delinquency proceedings.
The Gault Court first reviewed the history of the juvenile court
The Court recognized the salutary
motives behind the movement to create a separate juvenile justice system,
but found that *348
the urge to do good had led to a system of juvenile
justice that departed from traditional notions of due process:
Accordingly, the highest motives and most enlightened impulses
led to a peculiar system for juveniles, unknown to our law in any comparable
context. The constitutional and theoretical basis for this peculiar system is--to
say the least--debatable. And in practice . . . the results have not been entirely
Weighing the benefits and detriments of juvenile justice systems,
the Court concluded that the benefits of allowing juvenile court judges wide
discretion did not outweigh the detriments. The Court narrowed its inquiry to
consideration of the physical confinement involved when a juvenile is detained.
Through its eloquent description of confinement,
and its reference to existing juvenile court proceedings as a "kangaroo court"',
the Court expressed its view that juvenile detention is not constitutionally
different from adult imprisonment.
Gault Court stated that juveniles are entitled to the full panoply of criminal
due process protections: notice of charges,
the right to counsel,
the right to confront
and the privilege against
See Application of
Gault, 99 Ariz. 181, 407 P.2d 760 (1965).
We consider only the
problems presented to us by this case. These relate to the proceedings by which
a determination is made as to whether a juvenile is a "delinquent"' as a result
of alleged misconduct on his part, with the consequence that he may be committed
to a state institution.
Gault, 387 U.S. at 13.
"The early reformers
were appalled by adult procedures and penalties, and by the fact that children
could be given long prison sentences and mixed in jails with hardened criminals.
They were profoundly convinced that society's duty to the child could not be
confined by the concept of justice alone."' Id. at 15.
A boy is charged with
misconduct. The boy is committed to an institution where he may be restrained
of liberty for years. It is of no constitutional consequence--and of limited
practical meaning--that the institution to which he is committed is called an
Industrial School. The fact of the matter is that, however euphemistic the title,
a "receiving home"' or an "industrial school"' for juveniles is an institution
of confinement in which the child is incarcerated for a greater or lesser time.
His world becomes "a building with whitewashed walls, regimented routine and
institutional hours . . . . "
Id. at 27 (footnote omitted).
"In view of this, it
would be extraordinary if our Constitution did not require the procedural regularity
and the exercise of care implied in the phrase 'due process."' Id.
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