Duquesne Law Review


Dianne M. Faber


Fourteenth Amendment rights of due process and equal protection have continually demanded the attention of the United States Supreme Court in recent years, notably in the area of criminal procedure. Since the Gault decision of 1967, children have been recognized holders of the right to procedural due process in juvenile court delinquency proceedings. Gault provided for right to counsel, right to notice of specific charges or factual allegations, confrontation and cross-examination of witnesses, and the privilege against self-incrimination. In re Winship further extended the child's right to procedural due process by requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt as the standard to be met for a finding of delinquency. Mr. Justice Fortas, writing for the Court in Gault, stated that "[u]nder our Constitution, the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court." The Court reasoned that in a delinquency proceeding a child is liable to incarceration in an industrial or reform school-a confinement amounting to a deprivation of liberty requiring the protection of Fourteenth Amendment due process. Both the Gault and Winship decisions were strictly limited to the adjudicatory stage of delinquency proceedings.

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