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National Briefing | KANSAS

Court rules on juveniles' rights

June 21, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that juveniles have a constitutional right to a jury trial, a surprise decision that could influence courts in other states and force local prosecutors to retry hundreds of open cases.

In a 6-1 decision, the court based its ruling partly on a provision of the Kansas Constitution that states defendants "in all prosecutions" are guaranteed a speedy jury trial.

Courts generally have said for several decades that states aren't required to have jury trials for juveniles as they are for adult defendants. Juveniles are often tried before a judge.

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