State in the Interest of A.D.

On September 19, 2011, the ACLU-NJ submitted an amicus brief on behalf of two 17 year old juveniles who were seeking to be treated as juveniles by the New Jersey justice system. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office filed an application for waiver of jurisdiction from the family court, which traditionally handles charges against juveniles, in order to bring charges against the juveniles as adults in regular criminal court. The ACLU-NJ brief argued that if the decision of the Appellate Division is not reversed, it will have the effect of lowering the standards for the waiver of the family court’s jurisdiction over juvenile criminal cases. This means that a greater number of children charged with crimes will not be able to be under the protection the juvenile justice system, which takes into account the development differences between juveniles and adults when considering their sentences. In the Fall of 2012 the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Appellate Division that juveniles can be tried as adults.

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